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Myeloma treatment and side effects

We're here for you if you want to talk

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Myeloma treatment aims

In this section we talk about the specific treatments used for myeloma. You might also want to read our general information about how blood cancer treatment is planned and managing your treatment.

We also have some important information on staying safe if you’ve got blood cancer, covering things like risk of infection and vaccinations.

The main aims of treatment are to substantially reduce the effect of the myeloma and to bring you into remission (a period when cancer cells are at low level or can no longer be detected) for as long as possible, with the best possible quality of life.

If you have symptomatic myeloma you’ll normally start treatment immediately – depending on a number of factors. Treatment will involve a combination of chemotherapy (anti-cancer drugs), steroids, biological therapies (which support the body to control the cancer) and possibly a stem cell transplant.

People with smouldering/asymptomatic myeloma may not need treatment straight away but will have regular check-ups instead.

If you're not being actively treated, this is known as ‘watch and wait’.

Read more about watch and wait.

Clinical trials

Although the outcome for people with myeloma continues to improve, there is still a long way to go to improve treatments and quality of life for people with myeloma.

So if there’s a clinical trial (research study) available, your consultant might recommend that you consider this.

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