Until recently, most myeloma experts have agreed that there is no nutritional or genetic familial link back to multiple myeloma. In other words, there is/was no proof that what we ate–or who we were related to–could cause bone marrow cancer.
Earlier this summer I blogged about possible nutritional causes:
The head of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), Dr. Brian Durie, echoed the same thing:
So there seem to be some cracks showing-up in the “nutrition doesn’t cause myeloma” argument.
Now let’s take a quick look at possible genetic links.
Common sense has led me to believe that there must be a genetic link to multiple myeloma. I have run into too many examples of several myeloma cases appearing in the same family. Here’s the best, strongest example I have found to date…
Joan is a daily reader and dedicated caregiver for her husband, Don. Last week she mentioned how she wasn’t a stranger to all of this, since there had been three cases among members of a friend’s family. I followed-up and was shocked to learn how much myeloma could be found perched in one family tree!
Here’s a copy of an email I received this week from a relative named Diane:
Here’s the situation with my brothers and our uncle having MM:
- My brother Ron (56 yrs old) was diagnosed last year with MM. Ron’s complaints were about a sore fractured spot centered on his sternum. He was missed diagnosid for several years. Ron is currently under the good care of Dr. Craig Hoffmiser at the OSU James Cancer Center, in Columbus, OH. His treatment started with several months of Velcade chemo therapy and then last December had a stem cell replacement. The results from the stem cell were disappointing. Ron currently takes (5mg) of revlimid chemo. He is not in remission yet. He looks healthy and strong, but tires easily.
- My brother Albert (58 yrs old) was recently diagnosed with MGUS/smoldering myeloma. Al took a proactive approach and got tested on his own since Ron’s diagnosis. Al is tested every 6 mos. for an increase protein level. Doctors are saying that his MM may not present itself for years. Al receives no treatment at this time. He looks healthy and lives an active life.
- Our uncle Albert (our mother’s brother) was diagnosed with MM in his late 80′s. He passed away last June.
Wow! Three men from the same family! Apparently, they did all live within two miles of each other–so an environmental component can’t be ruled-out.
Do you realize the odds against three cases of myeloma randomly appearing in the same family? Astronomical!
Anecdotal views of the world rarely prove anything. But if there ever was a “smoking gun” linking myeloma and a genetic familial link, this is it!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat