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Care Options for Elderly With Multiple Myeloma

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Hi. My name is David Emerson. I am a long-term Multiple Myeloma survivor and MM cancer coach.  The average age of MM patient is 69 years of age. Chemotherapy and radiation are difficult for any newly diagnosed MM patient. But especially difficult for elderly cancer patient.

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pastedGraphic.pngCancer is dangerous for all adults, but it affects the elderly in a much more drastic manner. The elderly will almost always need special care, and while it’s possible to successfully perform home care, this won’t always be the best option for you. This is due to the fact that special care requires special attention, which is something that not everyone is capable of giving. Remember that cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, but it also affects the lives of those close to the patient. This is why it’s important to consider which treatment option is best for everybody.


Here are some things you need to know when selecting between care options:

Current Cancer Progression

The first thing to do is to discuss your current condition with your health team as this is what will determine how you’re going to approach treatment. Multiple myeloma shares traits with other plasma cell disorders such as smoldering multiple myeloma, light chain amyloidosis, or solitary plasmacytoma. As with any medical treatment, the only way to determine proper treatment is through an accurate diagnosis regarding what is affecting the patient, along with the cancer’s progression.

Aggravating Medical Conditions

It’s important to factor in other medical conditions that could potentially worsen the effects of your cancer. Multiple myeloma primarily causes red blood cell numbers to dwindle by overcrowding the bone marrow with white blood cells, but it can also cause bone and calcium problems by interfering with the process of reconstructing old bones. This means that patients are significantly more likely to sustain fractures when they fall.

Financial Challenges

Cancer treatment is expensive and they vary based on a number of factors. Home care will always cost the least, but it may not be good for other members of the family as it can be disruptive to them, even with home-based professional care. Your resources will determine which treatments are available to you. It’s always best to discuss these matters with your health team about ways that you can get financial help for your treatment. This is especially important for older adults, as they are more likely to have a limited budget or live on a fixed income.

Emotional and Social Needs

Never forget about your emotional and social needs. Staying with your family or getting private care may help a good deal because of the personalized care and because of the degree of control you have over your treatment but there may be situations when an assisted living household such as Longhouse might be better for a patient.

This is because these households tend to have access to facilities, equipment, and staff that are specifically dedicated to the care of the elderly. They also allow the patient to be around other patients who are most likely going to be the ones who can best relate to the patient. It’s not enough to have someone who cares for you. You need someone who completely understands what you’re going through.

There are many other factors to consider, but these are the core factors to consider because they have the most significant impact on your quality of life. Plan your treatment well, not just so you’re able to use your resources as best as you can, but also so that you’re able to live well while you can.

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