What I wish I knew about Multiple Myeloma treatments 25 years later...

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Exercise Oncology for Myeloma Patients

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The results statistically demonstrate a positive effect of exercise oncology during cancer care, in terms of reductions in overall cost per patient pre- to post-intervention…”

According to the studies linked below, exercise is so beneficial to the newly diagnosed cancer patient that it now has it’s own name- “exercise oncology.”

In short, exercise before, during and after active myeloma therapy helps the patient in two ways. First, the patient experiences less fatigue, higher quality of life and responds better to the chemo. Secondly, fewer side effects means less adverse events treatment is necessary saving the patient time and money.

I’ve taken the study linked below and super-imposed my own research and experience as a long-term MM survivor. If you’re a newly diagnosed myeloma patient you are about to undergo, off and on based on relapses and remissions, years of chemotherapy and steroids (dexamethasone).  The three most common side effects of myeloma patients is 1) immune disfunction 2) bone damage and 3) nerve damage. Frequent, moderate exercise can prevent or reduce the seveerity of each one of those side effects. Even though chemobrain isn’t routinely added to the list of common side effects experienced by MMers, I’ve added it to the list below.

The problem faced by the newly diagnosed MMer is that oncology doesn’t really emphasize exercise and exercise is really difficult for MMers going through chemotherapy and radiation. If you feel tired, nauseated and emotionally exhausted AND if your oncologist hasn’t really talked-up the importance of daily, moderate exercise, there is little chance of you including it in your daily routine.

My point in writing this post is to provide evidence-based proof that exercise can really, really help you feel better and save you money. Myeloma is an extremely expensive cancer. You will need real motivation to get you to even walk around the block daily if you are on your second, third or fouth round of your induction therapy.

Another reason for writing this post is that I am a long-term MM survivor who lives with many of the long-term adverse events that I list above. No one talked to me about the importance of frequent, moderate exercise when I was going through my own active therapy. If I could spare you any of the side effects of MM therapy I would in a heart beat. Now that I mention it, exercise reduces or eliminates the damaging effect of chemo on your heart…

To learn more about evidence-based but NON-conventional therapies for the newly diagnosed MMer, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Myeloma Survivor
  • Myeloma Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Exercise oncology research: past, present, and future.

“Data from published studies provides relatively strong evidence that exercise therapy is a well-tolerated and safe adjunct therapy that can mitigate several common treatment-related side effects among cancer patients across the PEACE framework. In addition, observational studies suggest that higher levels of exercise may be associated with improved prognosis in patients with solid tumors…”

Cost Savings Analysis of Individualized Exercise Oncology Programs

“Several meta-analyses report that exercise interventions are beneficial for patients undergoing cancer treatment, in that they reduce symptom severity4 and improve cancer-related fatigue,57 cardiac function,8muscle weakness,9 and overall quality of life.10

However, the focus of exercise oncology research has traditionally been on the efficacy of exercise programming.11 With cancer mortality rates on the decline,1 and patients living longer with the chronic and late effects of cancer treatment, economic evaluations of exercise oncology are warranted.

As such, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the cost-effectiveness of an individualized exercise program starting early after cancer diagnosis. We hypothesized that individualized exercise training during cancer treatment would lessen symptom severity and improve treatment outcome, leading to a decrease in health care–related expenditure. We recently reported the effects of individualized exercise training during cancer treatment on symptom severity,4 resulting in significant decreases in depression, fatigue, anxiety, and fear for the future, as well as corresponding improvements in quality of life.4..

Numerous published research articles demonstrate improved patient outcomes as a result of exercise during cancer recovery. Moderate physical activity exercise has a profound effect on energy levels5,12 and increases overall quality of life.10,13 Exercise has also been found to promote a healthy body weight,14,15decrease oxidative stress,16 and boost immunity.17 …

Namely, its influence on the inflammatory immune response18 leads to a reduction in cell differentiation and proliferation related to chemotherapy treatment.19 Moreover, exercise has a positive effect on metabolic, genetic, and neuroendocrine function,18 leading to lower levels of circulating sympathetic hormones, which are implicated in fatigue, depression, and pain.2022

Despite other investigations that have supported the efficacy of exercise during cancer treatment, nationally <5% of patients are ever referred to a cancer rehabilitation program.26 A reported 88% of patients did not even receive education on the importance of exercise during treatment.27 Public funding and lack of resources has been identified as a significant barrier to national exercise oncology programs.27,28 Other known barriers include lack of general knowledge about the need to stay physically active during and after cancer therapy, qualified personnel,29 and available programs.27

Results: The resulting dataset consisted of 1493 total hospital encounters for 147 unique patients. The results statistically demonstrate a positive effect of exercise oncology during cancer care, in terms of reductions in overall cost per patient pre- to post-intervention…”

 

 

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