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What is Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma?

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What is stage 3 Multiple Myeloma? What qualifies as stage 3 MM? What are the symptoms of stage 3 MM? How worried should I be if I’ve been diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma?

Hi David- Within the past 40 days I have been diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma.  I am trying to educate myself of this “common” form of cancer and various treatments from chemotherapy to surgery to radiation. Your story is amazing, as I wish mine can be as well.

No real treatment yet, due to a serious unrelated arm infection that required surgery. I am meeting with an oncologist next Wednesday to discuss treatment and I think I will start at the end of next week or following.
Initially diagnosed at stage 3 in hospital during a fractured back review in mid-June- I honestly believe I’m stage 1.  Zero pain of anything at this point- kidneys functioning fully normal.
Needless to say being diagnosed with stage 3 MM but not having any pain with normal kidney function seems odd to me. What is stage 3 MM? What does “staging” mean for a MM patient?
Have already started a regiment of following:
  • Vitamin k2-mk4. 45mg per day- 15 at each meal
  • Curicumim (2)1000mg high absorption
  • Vitamin B12
  • AM and PM doses of bone builder vitamin
  • Frankincense daily on my back
  • 2 men’s health vitamin with high absorption
  • Folate 400
  • A cod liver oil
  • 800mg of omega 3

How could I be diagnosed with MM stage 3 if I have no pain or symptoms the I know of?

Let me know what you think- Tom-

Multiple Myeloma – Stage 3

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Hi Tom-

Some observations and a few questions. I think the reason why you received a diagnosis of MM stage 3 (yet you think you are MM stage 1) is because your diagnostic testing results is/are unique and out of the ordinary. I don’t think your doctors can figure you out. The diagnostic criteria for MM is specific.  Yet, if you only have a B2M, LDH, IgA Kappa then you don’t fit into the usual CRAB symptoms on diagnosis.
Keep in mind that MM is not a common cancer, it is a rare blood cancer- approximately 32,000 diagnoses of MM in the US last year.
Questions- You have no symptoms? No pain. No fever or night sweats? What caused the fracture to your spine last month?

Have you been given an “m-spike” or what is formally called a monoclonal protein?

  • You are young, overweight
  • Beta 2 microglobulin is high
  • Your red blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin are very low- (fatigue? out of breath?)
  • Kidney, liver and bone health all normal-
  • Your LDH is very high-
  • Your IgA is high while your IgG and IgM are below normal-
  • Your Kappa Free light chain is high and your Lambda FLC is normal-
In any event, I do not see the need for aggressive chemotherapy in the form of standard “induction” chemotherapy followed by an autologous stem cell transplant. In other words, if the person’s MM is not causing organ damage, there is no need to treat the MM.
I am not an oncologist. I think very differently than they do. I would do low-dose Revlimid (not the 25 mg you are currently taking but 5 or 10 mg along with integrative therapies).  Revlimid is called an angiogenesis inhibitor. I would encourage non-toxic angiogenesis inhibitors.
I would continue to get diagnostic testing regularly.
The only way I can learn more about your situation is to study MM as well as LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) combined with IgA kappa MM.
I would ask your oncologist to convince you why you should undergo chemotherapy. I can’t think of a reason. Maybe he/she can.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Hang in there,
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Hi David,
Answers to your questions plus a couple additional details to my original comments.
  • The data on my weight is greatly aged, from 2017 – when I hit my high in Sept 2017 of 290.  I started weight training in March 2019, and dropped from 290 to 220 by March 2020 with the body I always wanted;
  • I broke my back from self lifting a very heavy large 140lb TV in April 2020 and for next month continued my normal routine of and effectively bed ridden by May 2020; and when I left the hospital in June 2020, with a broken back, news of myloma and a right arm that got an anterial tear in earlier june, which got a mosquito bite on July 4 with a staff infection and subsequent surgery July 9.
No fever to very mild 99.7-100.1  here and there.. 1 night of nights sweats after a reasonably massive meatfest – but normal for me last 20 years.  Not sure on the “m-spike”, dont think so.
  • I did not feel out of breath or fatigued ever until Tuesday when my red Hemoglobin hit a 4, and got another transfusion of 2 pints and platlets.
  • From my onocologist appt. yesterday they could not reconcile the 500 point drop in Hem A.
  • kidney liver and bone health strong.
  • Should receive new light-chain data by end of week, I believe.
I did start the following yesterday; your expertise in invaluable.
-2.6mg Velcade weekly on Wednesdays via injection
-25mg Revlimid 25mg @ 7pm daily for 21 days then 7 day break
-12MG Dexamethasone – 1time weekly (Wednesday) with the Revlimid
Maintaining all other regiment of pills as specified before – looking to BOOST Vitamin D by tomorrow and add another Curicumin pill for total of 3.
All the best to you- Tom

Outlook and Treatment for Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma

“Howis multiple myeloma diagnosed?

Your doctor will run several tests to give you a diagnosis and a cancer stage. These tests look for and detect many signs of the disease that can’t be seen with the eye. Test results will reveal the following if you have advanced stage multiple myeloma:

  • high levels of blood calcium
  • high levels of M protein in the blood or urine
  • advanced bone damage
  • moderate to severe anemia

When you’re diagnosed with multiple myeloma, your doctor will want to determine how advanced the cancer is. Multiple myeloma is classified by stage 1, 2, or 3. In multiple myeloma cases, stage 3 is the terminal stage. This means it’s the most advanced stage of this type of rare cancer.

Doctors use the international staging system to determine the stage of the cancer. This system is based on the levels of serum beta-2 microglobulin and serum albumin.

Stage serum beta-2 microglobulin level serum albumin level
Stage 1 Less than 3.5 (mg/L) 3.5 (g/dL) or greater
Stage 2 Between 3.5 and 5.5

Less than 3.5

Any level

Below 3.5

Stage 3 5.5 or greater Any level

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