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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.
A 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:
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.
“Although the cancer field is marching on toward personalized medicine, with drugs being targeted to specific tumors, many patients are unaware that this revolution is taking place, a new survey shows.
“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…”
“Pharmacogenomic profiling of circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream may help personalize the choice of chemotherapy for patients with pancreatic cancer, according to preliminary results from an ongoing prospective study presented at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.”