Is it possible to live a long time with myeloma?

Peut-on vivre longtemps avec un myélome ?

Myeloma survival statistics are estimates and should be interpreted with caution. Because they are based on the experiences of a group of people, it is not possible to draw reliable conclusions. However, there are many methods of predicting the chances of survival for a person with myeloma. Read on to learn about some of them.

Definition: What do you know about myeloma?

Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that occurs when certain plasma cells multiply in the body in a surprising way. This excess of plasma cells then accumulates in various bones. This is why it is called multiple myeloma, referring to the large number of plasma cells in the bone marrow.

The accumulation of plasma cells in the bone marrow prevents the production of B lymphocytes and red blood cells. In addition, the presence of certain cancerous plasma cells weakens the bones and stimulates their destruction by the synthesis of bone tissue. This causes muscle discomfort and many pains in the bone. These are generally very uncomfortable sensations that can increase the risk of muscle fractures.

Also, the excessive multiplication of plasma cells in the bones leads to an increase in the presence of antibodies in the blood. The main health risk with this phenomenon is that the kidneys are disrupted and the blood becomes more viscous.

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What are the methods of estimating survival with myeloma?

Les méthodes d’estimation de survie avec le myélome

To estimate the probability of survival with myeloma, there are three steps. The first is to make a net estimate of the possibility of living longer with this cancer. The second step is to make an estimate based on the stage of the cancer. The last step is to make a median estimate of the possibility of survival for the person with this disease.

Living Long with Myeloma: Net Survival Estimate

Net survival is a method of estimating the likelihood of staying alive longer with myeloma. It represents the chance of surviving if there are no other causes of death. In many countries around the world, the probability of survival is 50% for myeloma patients. In other words, myeloma patients can stay alive for up to 5 years after diagnosis.

Surviving myeloma by stage

Myeloma survival depends on the stage of the cancer. It should be noted that in the early stages, treatment is effective and the effects of the disease are lessened. This can extend the patient’s life. However, as the cancer progresses, it becomes more difficult to control. The chances of staying alive longer are therefore weakened as the cancer approaches its final stage.

Median Estimate of Survival from Cancer

Survival here is the period after the cancer is diagnosed and treatment begins. It tells you how long people with cancer will live. It can vary depending on several factors, but estimates are :

  • 63 months (about 5 years) ;
  • 45 months (about 3.5 years);
  • 30 months (about 2.5 years).

Finally, it is important to remember that these estimates are not reliable. Some people may remain alive for more than 5 years after being diagnosed with the disease.

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