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Myeloma may not cause any symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Occasionally, it is diagnosed| following a routine blood test before any symptoms develop.
When symptoms do happen, they are mostly caused by a build-up of abnormal plasma cells in the bone marrow, and by the presence of the paraprotein in the blood.
The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain.
About 70% of people (7 in 10) complain of lower back pain, or pain in their ribs. The pain happens because too many abnormal plasma cells are crowding out the bone marrow, which can damage the bone. Other bones may be affected too, such as the skull or pelvis.
These may include:
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible. But remember, many of these symptoms can occur in other conditions - most people with these symptoms won’t have myeloma.
Content last reviewed: 1 February 2013
Next planned review: 2015
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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