Multiple Myeloma

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Starting Out on The Treatment Journey – What Lies Ahead?

Dr. Nina Shah UCSF Medical Center

If you’re just starting out with a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, some people are comforted knowing that there are thousands of people across the country who are going through the same experience. SurvivorNet has gathered those stories, and we’ve also gathered myeloma experts who will provide you with the knowledge necessary to make informed treatment choices. We hope that there’s some comfort in these stories and this information as you make decisions for your treatment and that it helps alleviate some anxiety as you move through this process.

There is no standard time period for how long treatment can take, as it depends on a number of factors. Dr. Nina Shah, hematologist at UCSF, explains, “One of the most common questions we as myeloma doctors get is: How long am I going to have to be on therapy? This is a really difficult question to answer because it depends on what your disease looks like. For example, your physician may say, ‘Hey, I looked at your bone marrow and I don’t see any plasma cells.’ And they’ll say you’re in remission.” Others may have more aggressive forms of the disease that will require lengthier treatment. Regardless of how long it takes, we at SurvivorNet have done our best to give you the information you need to know to understand what may lie ahead

Throughout your treatment, you will be faced with many difficult decisions. We believe that patients who are informed and educated at each step will make the best, most-personal decisions.

Dr. Shah says, “It may be that the best decision for you is a clinical trial, it may be that the best decision for you is a new immunotherapy, it may be that your doctor will say ‘Hey, let’s hold off and try to treat you a little bit now because something may come on the market.’ All of those options are possible and we want you to hear from different doctors about each of those options.”

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Dr. Nina Shah is a hematologist who specializes in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer affecting the blood marrow. She treats patients at the Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinic. Read More