Clarence Sarkodee-Adoo, MD
Primary health care providers will usually refer people with myeloma to a hematologist or oncologist.
- Although medical treatments are fairly standardized,
different doctors have different philosophies and practices in caring for
- A person may want to consult with more
than one specialist before selecting the hematologist-oncologist.
- Family members, friends, and health care providers
are good resources to get referrals. Many communities, medical societies,
and cancer centers offer telephone or Internet referral
During a consultation with a hematologist-oncologist, the person will have an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss the treatments available.
- The doctor will present each type of treatment, give
the pros and cons, and make recommendations based on published treatment
guidelines and the doctor's experience.
- Treatment for myeloma depends on the stage. Factors
such as age, overall health, and recurrence of myeloma are included in the
treatment decision-making process.
- The decision of which treatment to pursue is made
between the person's hematologist-oncologist (with input from other members
of the care team) and family members, but the decision ultimately rests
with the patient.
- For optimal treatment results, a person should be certain to understand exactly what will be done and why, and what to expect from the treatments that have been decided upon.
Like all cancers, myeloma is most likely manageable when it is diagnosed early and treated promptly.
- A treatment plan is individualized for a
- The most widely used therapies are chemotherapy, corticosteroids, and/or radiation therapy.
- Newer medications that are active against myeloma may be offered, either as single therapy or together
- Supportive care is
given to treat complications and symptoms. Some potential supportive care
medications include growth factors for anemia and medications to treat bone
- Some patients may be referred for additional treatment, such as stem cell transplantation.
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