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Multiple Myeloma Diagnosis, Smoldering MM or MGUS ?

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“There are different forms of myeloma-related conditions (MM,SMM,MGUS). Some require treatment, some do not, but all will require regular check-ups to monitor whether the disease is progressing.”

Hello David- I’ve received a Multiple Myeloma diagnosis through blood/lab test and bone marrow biopsy. I can’t help but wonder if I have MM or pre-MM  (SMM or MGUS)?

  • My PET scan came back negative and
  • I have no symptoms other than anemia,
  • My hemoglobin is 9.

I’m a 50yr old female and always had anemia issues. One Dr wanted to rush me into therapy but I’m not too fond of pharmaceutical drugs. I’m scheduled to see a MM specialist and hope I get different results. I currently have a prescription for medical marijuana for PTSD.

Can you recommend a CBD oil I should purchase? I have no pain. I just suffer from anxiety and have sleep issues. I’m trying my best not to let MM make me depressed. I’m hoping for the best and trying to stay in good spirits. Thanks for your help and information. Mary

Hi Mary-

From your email, it appears that you have early stage MM, perhaps even pre-myeloma (SMM or MGUS). While your hemoglobin levels are low, as you say, your anemia can result from other issues.

You are smart not to “rush into therapy.” Especially if you are pre-MM. I also agree with your thinking about getting a second opinion from a MM specialist. If you do have full-blown MM and if you do decide to undergo treatment, MM specialists, according to numerous studies, offer a much longer average survival.


Regarding your question about recommending a CBD oil. Each state, each dispensary, may sell different strains CBD oil. Therefore, the key is to purchase the highest percentage (%) of cannabinoids IN the CBD oil. Further, research is thin on this issue, but a small percentage of THC enhances the anti-MM properties of CBD oil.

So the key is to purchase a CBD oil with high % of cannabinoids (15-20%) as well as a small % of THC.

Regarding your spirits, anxiety, etc. Other non-toxic therapies show to be cytotoxic to MM are also inflammatory and shown to moderate depression. Curcumin, green tea extract, both are shown to be anti-MM and anti-anxiety.

Last thing- if you can tell me any of your testing- blood, urine, etc. that indicated that you have MM, I can offer you feedback. In other words, if your bone marrow biopsy indicated abnormal cells of less than 30%, you have pre-MM, not full MM.

Also, a monoclonal protein aka m-spike of less than 3.0 is pre-MM, not full MM.

I mention this because you may be able to remain in a pre-MM stage for years. Perhaps even for the rest of your life.

Let me know, thanks.

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Multiple myeloma stages and types


There are different forms of myeloma-related conditions. Some require treatment, some do not, but all will require regular check-ups to monitor whether the disease is progressing.

Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS)

People who have MGUS harbor a small number of myeloma cells in the bone marrow but these cells are not forming a tumor and symptoms of the myeloma are not present. This condition is usually discovered during a routine blood exam that shows unusual levels of protein in the blood.

MGUS is a pre-cancerous condition. Therefore, check-ups should occur every six months to monitor the condition and make sure that it does not develop into multiple myeloma, even though this only happens in a small amount of patients.

A diagnosis of MGUS should not be made without having performed chromosome analysis, gene array, MRI, and/or a PET/CT scan.

Asymptomatic (smoldering/indolent) myeloma

Asymptomatic myeloma falls somewhere between MGUS and overt, symptomatic multiple myeloma. In this condition, a person has a greater number of myeloma cells than a person with MGUS. However, the disease does not cause any damage to the body and the typical myeloma symptoms are not present, though patients may exhibit anemia due to causes other than the myeloma.

Asymptomatic myeloma can be stable for many months or years, but it ultimately tends to progress. Treatment will likely be needed at some point. Patients will need to be monitored to see if the disease progresses and if symptoms become evident.

Symptomatic (active) myeloma

This type of myeloma represents overt cancer. A person with symptomatic myeloma has more myeloma cells than a person with asymptomatic myeloma or MGUS.

At this point, the disease is causing damage to the body, like bone damage, anemia, kidney problems, or hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood)…”


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