10 Steps to Better Care

The IMF’s guide through the myeloma journey, from diagnosis to long-term survival. Start by understanding the disease and diagnosis, and proceed through the steps to learn the best tests, treatments, and supportive care currently available.

  • Step 1
    Diagnosis

    Step 1: Get the correct diagnosis

    It is important to diagnose myeloma as early as possible. Myeloma can be slow-moving or more aggressive. A skilled myeloma specialist is able to determine the best approach in your individual situation.

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  • Step 2
    Tests

    Step 2: Tests you really need

    Myeloma can have different features in each patient. It is important to understand your disease and to know which tests are best for monitoring your myeloma.

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  • Step 3
    Treatment

    Step 3: Is treatment necessary?

    Deciding that treatment is necessary is the most pressing initial decision post-diagnosis. Since all treatments have side effects, treatment must be medically necessary. This is the case if the patient has one or more Myeloma-Defining Events or if myeloma...

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  • Step 4
    Supportive Care

    STEP 4:  Supportive care

    As a myeloma patient, you need support to alleviate the physical and emotional impact of living with this illness. The IMF encourages early use of supportive care measures, which are just as important as initiating therapy. This section covers...

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  • Step 5
    Transplants

    Note: If you would like to know about treatment options: Click here

    Step 5: Transplant

    High-dose therapy with autologous stem cell rescue...

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  • Step 6
    Assessment

    Step 6: Is treatment working?

    Timeline for improvement

    Be sure to have a discussion with your treating physician about the benefits and side effects of treatment,...

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  • Step 7
    Maintenance

    STEP 7:  Consolidation and maintenance

    Maintenance, also called “continuous therapy,” is a treatment that is administered over a long period of time, typically years, in an effort to sustain or enhance response which has already been achieved with prior therapy. The...

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  • Step 8
    Monitoring

    Step 8: Monitoring

    With typical novel combination therapies currently used in myeloma, the initial response tends to be quite rapid. Within 2-3 months, major response should have occurred. Treatment may be adjusted to improve tolerance for the longer...

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  • Step 9
    Relapse

    Step 9: Do you need a change in treatment?

    It’s important to assess possible relapse very carefully, and for the physician and the patient to discuss available options. One lab test on its own could be flawed, so it’s important to...

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  • Step 10
    Clinical Trials

    Step 10: Clinical trials and how to find them

    A clinical trial is a research study of new treatment that involves patients. Each study is designed to find better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat cancer and to answer scientific questions. Clinical trials may offer patients...

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