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.
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How Long Can a Person Live with Multiple Myeloma? The answer to that question depends on at least four main factors- 1) if you’re working with a multiple myeloma specialist, 2) your age, 3) your stage at diagnosis, and 4) your therapy plan.
Let me begin by saying that statistics are used when newly diagnosed MM patients ask “how long have I got, doctor?” All newly diagnosed MM patients ask this question. Unfortunately, there is no single answer.
Oncology must rely on national averages for the answer…
Let me be more specific.
1) Multiple Myeloma Specialists-
When I say “working with a MM specialist” I do not mean that he/she must make every decision, prescribe your diagnostic testing or that he/she must handle your day-to-day oncology needs. According to research, it a MM specialist is a part of your team, you are 38% less likely to die within the first five years of your diagnosis.
When I say “part of your team” I mean that the specialist works with you to design your therapy plan, works with you to think through each step after your relapse, etc.
2) Age at diagnosis of MM-
Managing MM for years, decades even, is physically and mentally demanding. Older NDMM patients often have additional health issues (co-morbidities) to deal with.
As you can imagine then, the 50 year old MM patient can weather the MM storm better than the 80 year old MM patient. For the record, the average age of newly diagnosed mm patients is 69 years of age.
3) MM stage at diagnosis-
The battery of tests that you take when you are first diagnosed with MM, blood, urine, imaging studies, all will point to specific symptoms that you may need to cope with for the rest of your life. Meaning, your myeloma may be the kind that is throwing off free light chains which are tiny proteins that can gum up your kidneys.
Kidney damage is a common symptom among NDMM patients. A symptom that can affect your therapy plan. Your kidney function can alter your choice of chemotherapy regimens dramatically.
4) Your MM therapy plan-
Just being here, just learning about MM indicates that you are the type of patient who wants to be active in the understanding of his/her MM. Studies indicate that involved MM patients live longer.
Further, evidence-based complimentary and integrative therapies, while not FDA approved, can both enhance your quality of life as a mm patient and can also enhance the efficacy of your conventional MM therapies.
Numerous studies confirm the benefit of “prehabilitation” before you undergo chemotherapy or an autologous stem cell transplant. Let’s be clear. Chemotherapy is hard on your body. Eating nutritiously, exercising frequently but moderately, supplementing, before, during and after conventional therapies can help you live a better, longer life as a MM patient.
“One of the fundamental understandings of multiple myeloma is that the younger patients do have a better life expectancy than the older patients. This has been thought to be because the younger patients have stronger immune systems to begin with, and do not have the co-morbities (other illnesses) that come with age. In addition, they are generally more able to take the trauma of chemotherapy and transplant. It is common knowledge, but I have not been able to find the data anywhere that quantifies the difference. That is until recently…”
“Survival rates tell you what percentage of people with the same type and stage of cancer are still alive a certain amount of time (usually 5 years) after they were diagnosed. They can’t tell you how long you will live, but they may help give you a better understanding about how likely it is that your treatment will be successful. Some people will want to know the survival rates for their cancer, and some people won’t…
The numbers below are the approximate median survival using the Revised International Staging System of just over 3,000 myeloma patients treated between 2005 and 2012. These survival times are measured from the point that treatment, such as chemotherapy, first started. Since 2000 the percent of patients living five years after diagnosis has been increasing. Treatment since then has improved considerably and modern survival results are likely to be better.
|Revised International Staging System||Median Survival|
|Stage I||Has not been reached|
|Stage II||83 months|
|Stage III||43 months|
“Multiple Myeloma Patients and Survivors Must use the Best of Both Conventional (FDA approved) and Evidence-based Non-Conventional Therapies.
You’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (MM). Your oncologist has recommended one or more in the long and growing list of conventional cancer therapies (FDA approved) that may include
It is my belief and personal experience however, that MM patients must also incorporate the best of complementary and integrative myeloma therapies in their therapy plan…
First, let me give some basic definitions: