Know your risks
Black men and women are diagnosed with myeloma at approximately twice the rate as the combined average for all ethnic backgrounds, but we don’t yet know all the reasons why.
While there is some debate about the reasons behind this increased rate of diagnosis, the fact remains that the African American community needs access to resources to better recognize symptoms, understand their diagnosis, and research treatment options for this disease.
Who gets this cancer?
- Increased risk of diagnosis in veterans and first responders who are exposed to environmental toxins. Black women represent 30% and black men represent 17% of active-duty enlisted military personnel.
- Men are more likely to be diagnosed than women, and the average age at diagnosis is 66 in black men, compared to the average age of 70 in their Caucasian counterparts.
- Other risk factors include:
- Having other plasma cell diseases (solitary plasmacytomas)
- Exposure to radiation
- Family history
We are here to help
The IMF is here to help. We offer in-person education programs and a wide range of print and digital resources free of charge on our website at myeloma.org.
Our toll-free InfoLine offers guidance in finding a local myeloma specialist, understanding treatment options, side effects, and helping you research options for financial assistance, clinical trials, and access to treatment.
We believe that every myeloma patient and caregiver should have access to the information and resources we provide. Scholarships for our low-cost seminars are available for those with financial hardship.
What you can do
Join the Conversation. We know more research is needed to understand how and why myeloma affects African Americans the way it does. Under the guidance of our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Mikhael, the IMF is committed to pursuing these questions in the coming year.
Join us at diversity.myeloma.org to sign up for our mailing list so that you can be the first to know of any new developments, studies, or programs that may affect you and your loved ones in the African American community.
You are not alone. The IMF is here to help.
Myeloma is a cancer that is not known to most patients at the time of diagnosis. The IMF’s library of educational publications helps empower you to play an active role in your own medical care. All IMF publications can be viewed, downloaded, or ordered at publications.myeloma.org
All IMF publications, including our weekly e-newsletter Myeloma Minute and quarterly print journal Myeloma Today, are available free of charge. Subscribe today at subscribe.myeloma.org.
As always, we encourage you to discuss all medical issues with your doctor, and to contact our InfoLine specialists with your myeloma questions and concerns. Please call 1-800-452-2873 or email [email protected].