Multiple Myeloma (cont.)
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You'll need regular checkups after treatment for multiple myeloma. Checkups help ensure that any changes in your health are noted and treated if needed. If you have any health problems between checkups, you should contact your doctor.
Your doctor will check for return of cancer. Even when the cancer seems to have been completely destroyed, the disease sometimes returns because undetected myeloma cells remained somewhere in the body after treatment. Also, checkups help detect health problems that can result from cancer treatment.
Checkups may include a careful physical exam, blood tests, x-rays, or bone marrow biopsy.
Sources of support
Learning you have myeloma can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to have new and confusing feelings to work through.
Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.
Here's where you can go for support:
Taking part in cancer research
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to answer important questions and to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.
Research already has led to advances in treatment, such as stem cell transplants. And doctors continue to look for better ways to treat myeloma.
Researchers are testing new drugs and drug combinations. They are also testing ways to improve stem cell transplants for people with multiple myeloma.
Even if people in a trial do not benefit directly, they still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about myeloma and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
NCI's Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of myeloma. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER or at LiveHelp at http://www.cancer.gov/help can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.
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Multiple Myeloma - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms of your multiple myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma - Diagnosis Question: Describe the tests and exams that led to a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.
Multiple Myeloma - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have you, a friend, or loved one received for multiple myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma - Follow-up care Question: What type of follow-up care do you or a relative receive for multiple myeloma?
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