Life After Multiple Myeloma – Black Health Matters

Life after multiple myeloma often means going back to some familiar things — and making new choices for patients who battled the disease.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer that affects a person’s white plasma cells, the cells that fight infection and disease, and can permanently weaken bones and damage organs. It is a rare, incurable disease that often returns after successful treatment.[1]

For some people with multiple myeloma, treatment can clear or destroy the cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. For others, the cancer may never completely go away, and you may get regular treatment with chemotherapy and other treatments to try to control the cancer.[2]

Either way, there is a certain level of strength and anxiety, either because you’re worried your cancer will come back after successful treatment or because you’re learning to live with a cancer that won’t go away.

But you can go back to some familiar things and make new choices as part of your journey after you’ve faced multiple myeloma, advises the American Cancer Society.[3]:

  • Follow-up care: During and after treatment, it is very important to go to all follow-up appointments. During these visits, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, examine you, and order blood tests or imaging tests such as a CT scan or X-ray. Follow-up is needed to see if the cancer has returned, if further treatment is needed, and to check for any side effects. This is the time to talk to your cancer care team about any changes or problems you notice and any questions or concerns you have.
  • Ask your doctor about a survival care plan[4]A survivor care plan is a record of your cancer and treatment history, as well as any follow-up examinations or tests you will need in the future. These tests include early detection, screening, tests for other types of cancer, or tests to look for long-term health effects from cancer or its treatment. This plan can also include suggestions for diet and physical activity and reminders to keep your appointments for your primary care physician, who will monitor your general health care.
  • Keep health insurance and copies of your medical recordsEven after treatment, it is very important to maintain health insurance. Exams and doctor visits cost a lot, and although no one wants to think about the cancer coming back, it can happen. Post-cancer treatment, you may find yourself seeing a new doctor who doesn’t know your medical history. It is important to keep copies of your medical records to give your new doctor details of your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Take steps to reduce the risk of multiple myeloma progressing or returningIf you have (or have ever had) multiple myeloma, you will likely want to know if there are things you can do that might reduce your risk of the cancer growing or returning, such as exercising, eating a certain type of diet, or Take nutritional supplements. It may be beneficial to adopt healthy behaviors such as refraining from smoking, eating healthy food, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight, but no one knows this for sure. However, medical professionals say that these types of changes can have positive effects on your health that can extend far beyond your risk of developing myeloma or other types of cancer.
  • What to do if multiple myeloma returns: If the cancer has recurred at some point, your treatment options will depend on where the cancer is located, the treatments you’ve had before, and your health. Talk to your doctor about methods, especially if you should consider clinical trials. You can find out if you qualify for multiple myeloma trials at Bristol Myers Squibb here.
  • Get emotional support: Some feeling depressed, anxious, or anxious is normal when multiple myeloma is a part of your life. Some people are affected more than others. But everyone can benefit from the help and support of other people, whether they are friends and family, religious groups, support groups, professional counselors, or others.

[1], accessed September 30, 2022
[2], accessed September 30, 2022
[3], accessed September 30, 2022
[4], accessed September 30, 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *