Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Doctor touts education about symptoms, treatment of multiple myeloma

“Twenty years ago, there were only two treatments for multiple myeloma,” he said. “There are so many choices now and so much information that it is critical for you to know what your doctor knows.”
Cole stressed the importance of taking an active role in treatment decisions. He encouraged patients to seek out a doctor who specializes in myeloma (hematologist/oncologist), to ask lots of questions, and to bring someone with them to appointments to write everything down.
And, if you aren’t sure what to ask, feel free to say to your doctor “What should I be asking of you?,” Cole said.
“You are your own best advocate,” he said.
Common multiple myeloma symptoms
Common symptoms of multiple myeloma include:
• Bone pain, usually in the back and ribs
• Broken bones, usually in the spine
• Feeling weak and very tired
• Feeling very thirsty
• Frequent infections and fevers
• Weight loss
• Nausea or constipation
• Frequent urination
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer, as other health problems may also cause them. Only a doctor can tell for sure. Anyone with these symptoms should tell the doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Source: National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health,

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