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.
According to the ACS, less than 1% of cancer diagnoses in the U.S. annually are for multiple myeloma. Myeloma is a rare cancer. Therefore, relatively few oncologists have much experience with or know much about multiple myeloma.
When I was diagnosed in early 1994 I assumed my hospital was experienced in the type and stage of my cancer. I was wrong. There are more than 100 diffent types of cancer. Each type of cancer may exhibit 3 or 4 different stages. Each stage may exhibit dozens of different symptoms.
It is not a criticism of an oncologist to say that he/she may not be experienced with every type and stage of cancer.
Every newly diagnosed MM patient must work with or at least consult with a MM specialist.
Just like any other sort of expertise, law, academia, food, etc. the more experienced practitioner generally performs better. The articles linked and excerpted below explain:
Let me try to bring these ideas down to an individual level. After all, it may be difficult to think about long-term overall survival statistics if you are a newly diagnosed myeloma patient.
First of all, don’t be intimidated by the idea of only eight MM specialists. The title “great eight” was coined years ago when the blogger, Gary Peterson, first began writing about MM specialists. The list of the great eight has grown to over 200 MM specialists spread all over the United States. Gary’s site contains a great deal of valuable information for MMers. I recommend spending time reading myelomasurvival.com.
Along the same lines, cancer centers with experience in treating MM have increased in number over the years as well. For example, when I was considering having my autologous stem cell transplant in 1995, only one local hospital had any bone marrow transplant experience at all. And no local cancer centers had much experience with ASCT for myeloma patients like me.
Most importantly, the newly diagnosed MMer does not need to physically go to see his or her MM specialist in order to learn what they have to say. For example, a top MM specialist named James Berenson consults with MMers over the phone frequently. Dr. Berenson can work with your local oncologist to prescribe those chemotherapy regimens at the frequency and doses that Dr. Berenson thinks are right for you and your stage.
Lastly and most importantly, it is essential for MMers to understand that conventional MM specialists can take you only so far. According to conventional oncology MM is incurable. I have lived in complete remission from my MM since 1999 by living an evidence-based, non-toxic, anti-MM lifestyle. To learn more about my story, click here.
Knowledge is power. To learn more about the full spectrum of options for myeloma treatment, plus evidence-based therapies proven to enhance treatment outcomes and protect your body from side effects please watch the short video below:
“Since this post was first published I have gotten a number of comments about specialists who were not selected. I also placed a lot of weight on those who had published or provided exceptional survival rates. I did this because I believe you can not manage that which you do not measure. However, many facilities that do not supply survival statistics use clinical trial results as a surrogate or substitute for actual survival data and treatment guidance. I also did not allow more than one from each facility. The most important takeaway for a myeloma patient is to have a myeloma specialist on your team, and you can find a listing of well over 200 if you CLICK HERE…
“Looking back, I now realize that I developed a set of six questions that I eventually used to select my new multiple myeloma specialist.
“Purpose- To determine the association between the number of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) treated annually at a treatment facility (volume) and all-cause mortality (outcome)…
“The United States offers the best cancer care in the world. But there is no guarantee that all Americans who need superb cancer care actually receive it. That’s because there are significant differences in cancer care between cancer centers. People treated in one place may not live as long as they would have had they sought treatment elsewhere.
Today, about 85 percent of cancer patients in the US are treated in their local communities. This works out for a lot of them. After all, many people have cancers that are relatively common, with treatments that have become so routine, so standardized, their chance of kicking it is pretty good — no matter where they seek care…
A new study focusing on the medical management of multiple myeloma, the same blood cancer I have, adds to the knowledge base that patients treated by experienced physicians fare better. It compared survival rates among patients with multiple myeloma treated at centers with different numbers of patients with this condition. Compared with centers treating just 10 or fewer patients per year, centers that treated 20, 30, and 40 patients per year had approximately 10 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent lower overall mortality rates during the study period. This held true even when researchers took into consideration sociodemographic and geographic factors and whether patients had other conditions that could affect their health.
While not particularly surprising, these data are troubling when considered in a larger context of just how rare myeloma is compared to, say, breast cancer or prostate cancer. This year, about 30,000 Americans will learn they have multiple myeloma, a disease for which there is no cure. (That’s less than two percent of the nearly 1.7 million Americans who are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year.) With 13,000 hematologists and oncologists in practice today, the average one will see only two patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma each year and six living with the disease. Some physicians, of course, will see more, while many others will see fewer…”