Tom Brokow has Multiple Myeloma  –  The Skin Cancer?  No!  The Blood Plasma Cell Cancer Where 1 in 5  Patients Die in The First 60 days!  Myeloma GETS NO RESPECT!

PictureMultiple Myeloma gets NO RESPECT!

Sometimes it feels like Multiple Myeloma gets NO RESPECT. If you have multiple myeloma, one of the first things a person will ask when you tell them you have multiple myeloma is, “Oh the skin cancer?”   I will go into my standard response explaining that it is a cancer of the blood plasma cells in the bone marrow.  Most people have heard of melanoma, the skin cancer.   
Melanoma does have 4 times the cases as multiple myeloma, but just 1/2 the annual deaths.  Talk about NO RESPECT. Their second comment is usually, “You look so good, no one would know you have cancer”.  And with a smile on my face and in hopes of lightening up the conversation I usually respond by saying: “Yes, we make the best looking corpses.” This is usually followed by my cliff notes version of what  is multiple myeloma, and how is destroys the immune system.

I had indicated in a previous post about how some of the newspaper articles had missed this point and really misrepresented this disease, or at least where it concerned the average patient.  But some of the articles had a very central issue highlighted. Those articles included the following which you can click on and  read:

Tom Brokaw’s cancer diagnosis: What is multiple myeloma? | Fox 
Tom Brokaw Has Multiple Myeloma. What Is It? – US News
We Can All Be Proud Of Tom Brokaw – The Myeloma Beacon
Tom Brokaw has Multiple Myeloma – Thank You for Making it Public .

I think this type of article is important because it recognizes how little is known about multiple myeloma in the general population, and the need to find ways to get SOME recognition for myeloma.  March is multiple myeloma awareness month sponsored by the IMF and promoted by many organizations and myeloma advocates.  Maybe with improved awareness we can get more recognition and help to educate the myeloma patients, general population, and the medical community in general.  We might then move the average life expectancy from 4 years to closer to the 10 years achieved by the skilled multiple myeloma specialist.   In addition, I wonder why 20 to 25% of the newly diagnosed die in the first year, and it might just be that improved awareness would help to diagnose patients at an earlier stage of the disease and bring this percentage down to more reasonable levels.  For a blog post on the risk of not knowing CLICK HERE.

A recent video by Myeloma UK provides a very similar message, and it explains the lack of awareness results in the death of 1 in 5 new patients in the United Kingdom in the first 60 days after diagnosis.  In addition, they found 97% of people surveyed had never heard of myeloma. To view the video CLICK HERE.

One way for YOU to help with Myeloma awareness is by getting this message out to your Facebook, twitter or other social media contacts.  You may not know someone with myeloma but your contacts might, and you may just help to SAVE LIFE!  Just Click the Twitter and Facebook icons at the end of this post.

Good luck and may God Bless your families’ Cancer Journey.   For more information on multiple myeloma survival rates and treatments CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1


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