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In addition to a hematologist-oncologist, a person's medical team may include a specialist in radiation therapy (radiation oncologist). The team will also include one or more nurses, a dietitian, a social worker, and other professionals as needed.
There is no cure for myeloma, but with treatment, patients can survive for many years with greatly reduced symptoms and problems. The first goal of medical therapy is to enable the patient to go into a complete remission. This means that there is no detectable monoclonal protein and the number of plasma cells in the bone marrow is normal (less than 5%) after treatment. Remission is not the same as cure. In remission, small numbers of myeloma cells likely remain in the body, but they are undetectable using currently available technology and cause no symptoms. When symptoms resume, or more abnormal plasma cells appear in the bone marrow, or abnormal proteins again start to appear in the blood or urine, the patient is said to have relapsed, and is no longer in complete remission.
Other terms used to describe the myeloma's response to treatment include the following:
A hematologist-oncologist may use the following terms to refer to myeloma therapy:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/1/2016
Jay B. Zatzkin, MD
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