Recently Diagnosed or Relapsed? Stop Looking For a Miracle Cure, and Use Evidence-Based Therapies To Enhance Your Treatment and Prolong Your Remission

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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Multiple Myeloma Therapies- Integrative, Complementary, Alternative

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“A stunning one-third of people with a cancer diagnosis use complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and supplements…”

Full disclosure. I am writing this post to focus exclusively on complementary and alternative therapy in addition to or in conjunction with conventional multiple myeloma therapies such as RVd.

Secondly, the article linked and excerpted below isn’t really clear as to the meaning of

  • alternative
  • complementary
  • integrative therapies

I consider the most useful meaning of the phrase alternative cancer therapies are those practices that do NOT involve conventional or FDA approved therapies in any way. I believe the most useful meaning of complementary therapies are those practices that the cancer patient uses IN ADDITION to conventional FDA approved therapies. And finally, integrative therapies are those practices that research has shown can enhance the efficacy or reduce the toxicity of conventional FDA approved therapies.

As a MM survivor since January of 1994, researching and writing about MM since june of 2004, I am not surprized that, according to the article below, “one-third of people with cancer use complementary and alternative medicines.” In fact, I think the actual percentage of CAM users is much higher. There is overwhelming research showing that complementary therapies alone, benefit cancer patients manage the short, long-term and late stage side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer patients, MMers in particular, are reluctant to talk about their practices with their often negative thinking oncologists.

Multiple myeloma is considered to be an incurable blood cancer. Even MM specialists will agree that standard-of-care therapies such as revlimid, velcade and dexamethasone can bring short, long-term and late stage side effects. And best case scenario for the MM patient is a long first remission (5-7 years) followed by successively shorter remissions and death. And that is the best case scenario. Until conventional myeloma oncology can cure this often aggressive blood cancer, I don’t see how MMers can NOT use CAM therapies to help manage their MM.

Because I do believe that MMers must use both conventional MM therapies as well as evidence-based non-conventional therapies to manage their MM, I advise MMers who use CAM therapies to do so only before and after conventional therapies. For example, if you supplement with curcumin, stop the day before you are scheduled to take velcade, and then resume your supplementation the day after chemotherapy administration. believe that this is the only way to get the best that both therapies have to offer.

Have you been diagnosed with multiple myeloma? What stage? What is your therapy plan? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

One-third of cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine

“A stunning one-third of people with a cancer diagnosis use complementary and alternative medicines such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and supplements...

Herbal supplements were the most common alternative medicine and chiropractic, or osteopathic manipulation, was the second most common…

“Younger patients are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicines and women were more likely to, but I would have thought more people would tell their doctors,” Dr. Sanford said, referring to the finding that 29 percent of people who use complementary and alternative medicine did not tell their physicians…

“They may interact with the medicines we’re giving them, and through that interaction it could alter the level of the medicine in the patient…”

“I have plenty of friends in this cancer journey who I’ve met who take supplements. A lady I met recently takes 75 supplements a day. It takes her two hours to package her supplements every week,” she said.

Ms. Myers said every person in her cancer support group uses some kind of alternative medicine. In addition to supplements, she practices meditation and yoga with guidance from a smartphone app…

She said she knows of some people with cancer who use only alternative medicine — and no traditional medical treatments. Dr. Sanford said this is a dangerous approach that could be fatal…

She said she had neuropathy or nerve damage from chemotherapy, and yoga almost immediately took the pain away.

“I couldn’t get onto my toes. After the second time of going to yoga, I was able to go onto my toes,” she said. “I wish I would have known about the yoga earlier. It was just such a benefit and helped me so much. I highly recommend it to anyone.””


Leave a Comment:

Ellen Rehg says 5 years ago

Hi ! I have just experienced my first relapse and am pretty shaken up. I have relapsed only one year from my ASCT My Doctor is starting me in a new study. I am researching metabolic approaches to beat cancer. I have been taking curcummin. I feel like I need to up my game with regard to diet and supplements. I have your guides. How do I know which other supplements to take?

    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Ellen,

    I’m sorry to read of your relapse but keep in mind that I too relapsed at about one year. Several things. Regarding anti-MM supplementation, there is no real formula to know what supplements to take. For example, I explain which supplements I take, at what doses. But other MM CC clients take more, some less.

    I think it is reasonable to increase your curcumin dose (depending on what your daily dose currently is). Studies show that green tea extract (EGCG) synergizes with curcumin. Omega 3 fatty acids as well. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to watch Dr. Bill Li’s Ted Talk which is linked in the nutrition guide. Dr. Li’s talks about anti-angiogenic foods and supplements.

    Revlimid and Thalidomide are angiogenic inhibitors. Curcumin and resveratrol are angiogenic inhibitors. I add foods from Dr. Li’s list to most of my daily meals.

    To answer your question, “how do I know which other supplements to take,” it is up to you. There are 18 supplements listed in the anti-MM supplements guide. I take nine of the supplements listed and I listed my daily dose.

    There is no formula that I know of. To a large degree which, what and how much is a personal preferance. I will say that the closed Facebook group called Beating Myeloma could be a help to you in reading what other MMers do in this regard.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    David Emerson

    PS- I have to make a pitch for other complementary therapies such as frequent, moderate exercise, detox, mind-body therapies, etc. I do much of what I talk about in the guides…

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