• Multiple Myeloma News
    • Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative
    • Nov 03, 2015

    MCRI Day 9 Challenge: Teach Your Primary Care Doctor How to Diagnose Myeloma and Save Lives


One in five multiple myeloma patients die within 60 days of diagnosis because the blood cancer was caught too late. Doctors need to know that common symptoms like back pain, fatigue and frequent infections could actually mean myeloma. Share this important letter with your Primary Care Doctor then share on social media with #discovermyeloma #curemyeloma. We receive $1 per share from our corporate sponsors that will be donated to myeloma research, but only if you include these hashtags when you post!

Here’s what you can share on your Facebook timeline: (Just copy and paste it!) Day 9 Challenge: One in five myeloma patients dies within 60 days of diagnosis because the blood cancer was caught too late. Teach your primary care doc what to look for by sharing this important letter and save lives! Share on social media using these hashtags. Each share raises $1 for myeloma research! https://bit.ly/1MwUvgV #discovermyeloma #curemyeloma

Send this Letter to your Primary Care Doctor

By Jim Omel, Myeloma Patient and Family Practice Doctor

Dear Doctor,

I write as one of you, a Family Practice physician for 25 years. I dealt with the same vague CC’s which you do: “Why am I so tired”?, Why don’t I feel good”?, and “Why does my back still hurt”? Near the end of my practice I missed an important Dx……my own……by failing to include Multiple Myeloma in my Differential Diagnosis. My increasing back pain ultimately resulted in a T-10 compression fx.

The plea in this short note is simple: better awareness. Please keep your Index of Suspicion high for this zebra hiding among so many common horses. If your patient doesn’t respond to the conservative approach you recommend, please order a simple SPEP (serum protein electrophoresis). It is not part of a routine chem panel, but will quickly rule out this devastating diagnosis. An IFE (immuno fixation electrophoresis) is helpful to confirm and define your patients’ cancerous clone which is producing myeloma protein.

Also recall the acronym for myeloma diagnosis. CRAB reminds us to remember (1)HyperCalcemia, (2)Renal disease, (3)Anemia, and (4)Bone disease. When combined with lab values showing a monoclonal spike of a single immunoglobulin, the diagnosis is active multiple myeloma.

Please don’t miss this important diagnosis. Myeloma should be on your long Diff Dx list for chronic back pain, frequent infections, and extreme fatigue.


Jim Omel MD
Jim Omel

Yesterday’s Results and Winners

Thank you Day 8 supporters! We’ve raised almost $17,000 for multiple myeloma research so far!



Congratulations to Kathy Ulrich and Abbie Rae who won today’s MCRI challenge prize!

They win two tickets each to the upcoming Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert in Salt Lake City on November 24th at the Energy Solutions Arena. Thanks to iHeart Radio for your generous donation to make this possible!


Thanks to our 12-Day Challenge sponsor, Takeda Oncology.

About Author

Jenny A

Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical trials. Founder of Myeloma Crowd, Myeloma Crowd Radio and the CrowdCare Foundation.


  1. Gary Petersen November 4, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Jim and Jenny this is such an important challenge in that so many patients are diagnosed late in the disease progression and have a very bad prognosis and life expectancy. Stage 1 myeloma has a life expectancy twice that of a Stage 3 patient. In addition stage 3 patients usually have either bone or end organ damage which they will live with for as long as they lives, and if diagnosed before this organ damage may never experience this damage. I truly hope we can get THIS MESSAGE out to the GP population. Gary

  2. Paul Ahlstrom November 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Gary – You are absolutely right! Of the many messages that have been shared on this campaign, this may be one of the more important messages that will have an immediate impact on patients lives. I shared this message with three of my GP doctor friends today.

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