No one is ever excited to hear the word cancer. It’s one of those words that evokes feelings of hopelessness and despair for so many people. It doesn’t discriminate by gender, race, nationality, or financial status. It affects kind people and those who are meaner than nests of startled hornets.
Unfortunately for those who are diagnosed with multiple myeloma there is little long-term hope to offer. The average life expectancy with the condition is three years, though some people have managed to live for ten years with the condition. That alone makes the plasma cell myeloma prognosis quite grim.
That being said, it is possible to defy expectations for those in certain situations and circumstances. Things that can shift a prognosis of multiple myeloma into something with a more favourable outcome include the following:
- Your attitude about your condition, your odds, and how you intend to tackle the challenges ahead of you. A winning attitude can add years and quality to your life.
- Initial state of your health upon diagnosis. The better shape your body and your organs are upon diagnosis, the faster you can begin preventing the spread of this cancer throughout your body.
- Stage at which multiple myeloma is diagnosed (early detection is incredibly beneficial for anyone with a myeloma cancer prognosis).
- Fast access to treatment (treatment options include: stem cell transplantation, high-dose chemotherapy, Doxorubicin, Treanda, Cytoxan, Revlimid, Thalomid, corticosteroids, bisphosphonates, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy).
It is important to remember that multiple myeloma affects every person differently. Some people who have the condition can go years without experiencing very many symptoms at all while others seem to deteriorate right before your eyes. Part of the problem lies in the fact that it takes doctors so long to diagnose the condition – which can be a challenge to pinpoint and identify because so many of the symptoms are so commonly indicative of other medical conditions that are unrelated to multiple myeloma.
This means that it is impossible to offer one definitive multiple myeloma prognosis that works for everyone who has been diagnosed with the condition. There are simply too many variables that can have a substantial impact on how well you will respond to treatment, how dedicated you will be to your own recovery, and what kind of frame of mind you will be in from day to day.
Additionally, the damage that has already been done to your body, bones, and organs isn’t something that can be undone or turned back. This damage can affect your recovery – especially if your organs are unable to perform essential tasks for your body. Some people are able to undergo dialysis, for instance, in response to kidney failure from multiple myeloma, while others may never need it. Some people respond well to prescription drugs while others become sicker from the drugs that are prescribed than from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how individuals respond to various treatment options and that makes a universal prognosis for multiple myeloma difficult at best.