If you are diagnosed with active multiple myeloma, it’s important to discuss your treatment needs and all available medicines with your doctor. You should also talk to your doctor about any possible side effects that you might experience.
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Conditions associated with multiple myeloma
There are different conditions associated with multiple myeloma (MM) based on how early the cancer is found. Your hematologist-oncologist will recommend treatments based on when MM was discovered.
Your doctor will run tests to help identify the next steps for your health.
MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance)
MGUS is a condition that might lead to MM. It happens when your blood results show low levels of M-protein. This suggests that there are a small number of abnormal plasma cells in your body, and about 1% of people with MGUS develop myeloma every year.
MGUS doesn’t require treatment, but it’s important to monitor the condition over time by getting regular checkups.
Smoldering multiple myeloma or asymptomatic myeloma
You have a form of multiple myeloma that is precancerous and hasn’t caused symptoms yet. The level of M-protein in your blood and the number of plasma cells in your bone marrow are higher than normal. Smoldering myeloma increases your chances of developing multiple myeloma.
You may not need treatment right away, but your hematologist-oncologist will keep an eye on you and let you know about any changes that might require medical attention. Make your MM Promise to stay open with your doctor and to talk about the right steps for your future.
In this stage of MM, a tumor has formed, or a large number of MM cancer cells have started to spread to other parts of the body and need to be treated. This is the most advanced stage of MM, so you may also be experiencing damage to bones, red blood cells, and organs.
There are many treatment options available to you, including stem-cell transplants, medicines, and clinical trials. The goal of treatment is to bring MM under control, keep it from spreading, and prevent the cancerous myeloma cells from growing back. Some medicines can help bring MM cells down to levels that are undetectable in tests.