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

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Pre-Multiple Myeloma,  Stage I,II,III- Your Diagnosis is the key to your Prognosis-

The phrase “you have cancer” strikes fear into the hearts of most everyone. The fact is, it doesn’t have to. Tens of thousands of cancer diagnoses annually may result in nothing more than “active surveillance” or minor surgery and you are cancer-free.

Multiple Myeloma Mind MapA cancer diagnosis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance or smoldering multiple myeloma  (MGUS, SMM) will have a completely different prognosis or average outcome compared to a cancer diagnosis of a stage 1, 2 or 3 in multiple myeloma. Your therapy considerations or choices will be very different depending on your specific diagnosis.

According to the American Cancer Society, the average five year survival rate for people diagnosed with MM at stage 3 is 44 months and the average five year survival rate for stage 1 is “has not been reached.” My guess is that newly diagnosed MMers will want to know their stage at diagnosis considering these wide survival rates…

As you can see from the multiple myeloma mind map (MMMM), multiple myeloma is a pretty complicated form of cancer.

The key? Do your homework to understand what diagnoses lead to which possible outcomes:

  • Is a watch and wait (active surveillance) approach better for you? If you haven’t gotten a second opinion yet, get one! Click here to for a list of seven questions that must be answered at a second opinion appointment– or any appointment.
  • Can surgery remove all of the cancer and eliminate the need for chemotherapy or radiation? When I was first diagnosed I had a single plasmacytoma. I did not undergo chemo until I progressed to full blown MM.  Toxic therapies usually lead to side-effects.
  •  How old is the patient? How aggressive is the multiple myeloma?
  • Will the patient’s genetic make-up guide the recommended therapy? Multiple Myeloma is actually eight different cancers. All with genetic sub typing.
  • What integrative treatments will best support your chosen therapy? Here is the number one supplement that keeps me cancer free.
  • Most importantly, what does the patient want?

The best way to determine the best course of action if for the cancer patient/caregiver to research the diagnosis and talk to his/her oncologist.

I am a long-term MM survivor and MM cancer coach. Click Now to watch a free webinar about the Multiple Myeloma Cancer Coaching Program that I developed based on my 22 plus years of managing my MM. 

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • MM survivor,
  • MM Cancer Coach,
  •  Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

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“Clearly, there remains a need for patients to be better informed about personalized medicine, which is a shared responsibility amongst the multidisciplinary healthcare team, patient support groups, and the media…” 

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