The constantly expanding choices that make myeloma treatment so promising also make the process difficult to navigate. Here are some suggestions that may help:
Find an experienced medical team. If possible, get your care at a medical center that specializes in multiple myeloma, such as one of the institutions that belong to the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium listed at www.themmrc.org. If you don't live near a myeloma center, you can find a blood specialist in your area through the American Society of Hematology, which you can reach from here: www.health.harvard.edu/hematologist.
Get a second opinion. You will probably feel more comfortable, and your insurance company may require it.
Check your insurance. Myeloma drugs are expensive and may not be covered by insurers. Organizations that provide assistance for drug treatments and insurance co-payments are listed on the National Cancer Institute Web site, which you can reach from here: www.health.harvard.edu/financial_help.
Consider clinical trials. If you join a clinical trial, you're assured of receiving at least the best available standard care — and possibly a new treatment that is even more effective.
Find support. The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, established by long-term myeloma survivor Kathy Giusti in 1998, offers information and inspiration through its Web site, www.themmrf.org. Information and support are also available through the International Myeloma Foundation, at www.myeloma.org.