Patients who have multiple myeloma should be closely monitored on a regular basis for changes in their disease status. Regular blood tests and bone scans will enable physicians to change treatments or to introduce new approaches should a patient's myeloma, or any myeloma-related problems, progress.
Patients who experience any new symptoms should contact their doctor right away. The sooner these symptoms are evaluated and treated, the better the outcome is likely to be.
Other Aspects of Survivorship
To help patients manage some of the other issues that may come up in survivorship, Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers a wide range of programs for cancer survivors, including the following:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Counseling Center
Our Counseling Center offers individual and family counseling sessions to help patients and their families address the problems that they may encounter in adjusting to life during and after treatment.
Integrative Medicine Service
Our Integrative Medicine Service is designed to enhance quality of life through healing regimens that address the body, mind, and spirit. Beneficial complementary therapies include various types of massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization exercises, and other mind-body therapies, music therapy, and nutritional counseling, as well as classes such as yoga, t'ai chi, and chair aerobics. Patients may benefit from some of these services in the hospital, while others are better suited to recovering patients or recovered patients after discharge.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering provides numerous prevention, screening, and wellness services. Information about these services; up-to-date information on cancer screening tests and guidelines; step-by-step instructions for a variety of self-exams; guidance on how to stop smoking; and information on how to follow a healthy diet can be found on our Web site in the Risk Assessment & Screening section.
Help for Older Patients
A diagnosis of cancer is difficult at any age, but older patients face unique challenges. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is committed to providing cancer patients aged 65 and older with the treatment, facilities, and support they need.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers the services of a multidisciplinary geriatric team, which includes physicians, clinical nurse specialists, social workers, nutritionists, and psychiatrists, as well as members of the Pain and Palliative Care Service and the Integrative Medicine Service. The programs and care the team provides focus on the needs of elderly cancer patients.
For more information about our services for older patients as well as for their family and friends, visit the Help for Older Patients section of our Web site.
Medical treatments for hematologic malignancies such as multiple myeloma can decrease patients' strength and endurance and increase their fatigue. Patients may find it difficult to complete basic daily activities such as taking a shower or getting dressed. Walking or maintaining an active lifestyle may become a burden.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering's physical therapists and occupational therapists are knowledgeable about the medical treatments provided to patients with multiple myeloma. They can help patients combat the side effects of treatment and of cancer with specific therapeutic exercises and energy conservation techniques aimed at building and maintaining strength and endurance while decreasing fatigue in everyday life.
See our section on Rehabilitation for further information about our services, including appointment information.
Access Information Through our Patient Portal
Memorial Sloan-Kettering offers a secure Web site — called MYMSKCC — for patients to access personalized information about their care. If you enroll to use MYMSKCC, you can view, confirm, and keep track of appointments; access over 300 lab results; make changes to contact and insurance information; communicate with your healthcare team and other staff using secure electronic messages; and pay bills and view balances. Learn more about MYMSKCC.
To enroll in MYMSKCC, please ask a session assistant in clinic or contact your physician's office.