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Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

Multiple Myeloma an incurable disease, but I have spent the last 25 years in remission using a blend of conventional oncology and evidence-based nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle therapies from peer-reviewed studies that your oncologist probably hasn't told you about.

Click the orange button to the right to learn more about what you can start doing today.

5 Factors That May Affect Myeloma Outcomes

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Myeloma outcomes vary widely. Invariably, the first thing that newly diagnosed patients want to know is the average outcome. But there is no average myeloma outcome. 

The second thing that newly diagnosed myeloma patients think of is treatment aka chemotherapy, surgery and/or radiation. While these FDA approved, conventional therapies are central to every outcome, in my experience, conventional therapies are only one piece of the myeloma picture.

When the study linked and excerpted below arrived in my in-box, I thought it would make a good starting place to discuss myeloma outcomes. In addition, I linked five of the most popular blog posts from PeopleBeatingCancer that deal with the issue of myeloma outcomes.

As you will read, the issue relies on many factors.

The takeaway is not that you, the newly diagnosed myeloma patient, has little control over your life expectance. Myeloma outcomes do depend on both your conventional as well as evidence-based non-conventional therapies. Some factors may be out of your control. However, many factors will definitely be in your control.

Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? What stage? What symptoms are you experiencing? Let me know and I will reply to your questions ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

5 Factors That May Affect Multiple Myeloma Outcomes

“Patients, when discussing multiple myeloma (MM), will want to know ways to mitigate the possibility of negative outcomes and improve their odds of survival. From 2012 to 2018, the 5-year survival rate for people diagnosed with MM was 57%.¹

A variety of factors can play a role in MM patients’ outcomes, and patients and health care professionals alike should be aware of these factors. Frailty, bone disease, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, and mood disorders can all affect outcomes and should be discussed with MM patients.

1. Frailty

Since MM is more likely to affect older patients, conditions that have an impact on the health of geriatric patients should be considered. One example is frailty, which presents unique challenges when dealing with MM.

In a 2021 review in Current Opinion in Oncology, researchers examined the need for frailty scores for individualized MM treatment, noting that while overall survival in MM has improved, frail patients remain at risk of shorter overall survival and progression-free survival.² This is due, in large part, to their increased risk of experiencing adverse events, particularly when they are overtreated. Having a better understanding of a patient’s frailty can lead to a more targeted treatment regimen that accounts for their risk of adverse events.

2. Bone Disease

Bone disease is a common comorbidity to appear after MM develops. Per a 2022 study in Cells, nearly half of patients who experience bone disease in MM will have a skeletal-related event that can increase mortality risk by 20% to 40%.³ These skeletal-related events can include pathological fractures and spinal cord compression. Being vigilant in looking for bone disease can lead to early detection and treatment. Osteoclast inhibitors have shown the potential to lower the risk of adverse skeletal-related events and increase the likelihood of bone resorption.

3. Cardiovascular Disease

As patients with MM tend to be older, they are more likely to have existing comorbidities. One such comorbidity is cardiovascular disease, a condition that may affect outcomes if it exists prior to diagnosis and if it develops later on.

In 2022, a study was published in Annals of Hematology that examined comorbidities in patients diagnosed with MM in Finland. The investigators found cardiovascular disease to be a common comorbidity in these patients.⁴ When examining patients from 2005 to 2016, 27.9% of those with comorbidities presented with cardiovascular disease in the year prior to diagnosis, while 4.8% had experienced a major adverse cardiac event. At 2 years post-diagnosis, those numbers increased to 57.1% and 11.4%, respectively. The researchers also found that older male patients were at a higher risk of major cardiac events and mortality.

4. Renal Disease

Renal complications can also affect outcomes in MM. A 2017 study in Cancer Medicine, which included patients diagnosed with MM from 2005 to 2012, revealed an increased incidence of renal disease as a registered comorbidity.⁵ In patients with MM who were diagnosed with moderate and severe renal disease, the 5-year survival rate was just 24%.

5. Mood Disorders

Patients with MM have a heightened risk of mood disorders and psychiatric conditions. As a 2018 study in Blood Advances showed, an estimated one-third of patients with cancer experience mood disorders as a comorbidity.⁶ These mood disorders are often associated with worse outcomes and an increase in medical costs.

A large part of the risk with MM is that treatment often includes corticosteroids, which bring an increased risk of psychiatric complications. This, combined with the stress of dealing with a serious illness and the high existing costs of cancer treatments, can compound and increase the risk of mood disorders. Mental health is something health care professionals should focus on when working with patients.

 

Leave a Comment:

21 comments
Gayle Langley says last year

My husband was diagnosed with MM in 2014. He was raised in a small town of maybe 2000. There have been several people (maybe 6 or 7) from this small community who have or, have had MM. These statistics seem high to me. Is there some common denominators to look for? I worry about others from this area.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Gayle-

    I am sorry to learn of your husband’s MM diagnosis. While the specific cause of MM is not known, research has shown that environmental factors can increase the risk of a MM diagnosis. Think 9/11 first responders. Further, if your husband’s small town was a rural farming community many residents may have been exposed to pesticides, a reason for increased risk.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Good luck,

    David Emerson

    Reply
Deb says last year

My siblings and I are participants in this study from Mayo Clinic. Posting for others to check out if meet qualification. 3 of 7 of us have been to hematologist follow up dude is some abnormal lab work. The STUDY’S GOAL
To identify new ways to prevent multiple myeloma in individuals with its precursor conditions.

WHO WE ARE SCREENING
We are looking for volunteers age 30 and older who are at high risk for having multiple myeloma risk factors including:
1. African Americans (because they have a 2-3 fold increased risk of developing multiple myeloma)
2. Close Family Relatives, who have a parent, sibling or child with myeloma, one of its warning signs, or another blood cancer.
Learn more and enroll. OUR STUDY’S GOAL
To identify new ways to prevent multiple myeloma in individuals with its precursor conditions.

WHO WE ARE SCREENING
We are looking for volunteers age 30 and older who are at high risk for having multiple myeloma risk factors including:
1. African Americans (because they have a 2-3 fold increased risk of developing multiple myeloma)
2. Close Family Relatives, who have a parent, sibling or child with myeloma, one of its warning signs, or another blood cancer.
Learn more and enroll.

Reply
GERRY Martin says last year

How much money do you make as a Cancer coach?

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Herman-

    None. I am a MM survivor who has been researching MM as well as other cancers since 2004. If you are a cancer patient yourself please understand that conventional oncology, especially MM oncology, is limited.

    Thanks for reading out.

    David Emerson

    Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Herman-

    None. As I’ve told you before, the revenues generated by cancer coaching pay for hosting fees, a part time salary, etc. I am a MM survivor who has been researching MM as well as other cancers since 2004. If you are a cancer patient yourself please understand that conventional oncology, especially MM oncology, is limited.

    Thanks for reading out.

    David Emerson

    Reply
GERRY Martin says last year

Cancer Coach? How did you qualify for this title.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Herman-

    I use that title to let everyone know what they can expect from me. The 2k plus blog posts on PBC solicit dozens of questions from cancer patients and their caregivers daily. People ask me questions and I provide evidence-based information. For free.

    Thanks for reaching out.

    David Emerson

    Reply
GERRY Martin says last year

How many years did you spend in Medical School to consider yourself as an MM coach.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Herman-

    None. I am a MM survivor who has been researching MM as well as other cancers since 2004. If you are a cancer patient yourself please understand that conventional oncology, especially MM oncology, is limited.

    Thanks for reading out.

    David Emerson

    Reply
margaret Leboutillier says last year

i have smoldering myeloma
1and 1/2, years. how long can stay at that stage ?

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Margaret-

    According to research, you can remain smoldering forever. The average risk of progressing to full MM is 10% annually with that percentage lowering after 10 years.

    It is in your interest to undergo diagnostic testing regularly to keep an eye on your “risk” of progression. Further, if you “prehabilitate” according to research, you will respond better to therapy if you ever to progress to full MM.

    Good luck,

    David Emerson

    Reply
Linda Lambe says last year

My husband was diagnosed 3 months ago and started chemo and other therapies. Three weeks ago he suffered a stroke. All cancer treatment is on hold allowing body to heal from stroke. We don’t know what next steps will be.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Linda-

    I am sorry to read of your husband’s MM diagnosis and stroke. I agree with your decision to halt all therapies while he heals. Do you have a question?

    David Emerson

    Reply
Cynthia Barbaretti says last year

Please send the last message to me again it went off tooquicky…..it started with success the ???? Thank youplease

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Hi Cindy-

    I can’t find the message that you are referring to. Do you have any questions?

    David Emerson

    Reply
Kathy Graumann says last year

My husband began immunomonoclonal targeted therapy on April 17, 2023, and is responding well.

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Good to hear Kathy- good luck.

    David Emerson

    Reply
Juanita Saylor says last year

Love hearing this

Reply
Mark Roberts says last year

Any information is greatly appreciated. I just started therapy without radiation treatment. I’ve had a lot of temperature spikes With chills and just totally good no energy but Doctor said that might be a good thing. Thanks for your info

Reply
    David Emerson says last year

    Good luck Mark-

    David Emerson

    Reply
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