FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH IS MULTIPLE MYELOMA AWARENESS MONTH: MYELOMA CROWD (www.myelomacrowd.org) PROVIDES INFORMATION AND SUPPORT FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY THIS BLOOD CANCER
Multiple Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and more than twenty thousand new cases will be diagnosed in 2014.
MARCH 7, 2014 [Salt Lake City, Utah]: March is Multiple Myeloma Awareness Month and www.myelomacrowd.org is an excellent resource to learn more about this little known cancer. The site was created by Utah moms and fellow myeloma survivors Jenny Ahlstrom and Lizzy Smith, who are both treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
There are over one hundred thousand Americans living with multiple myeloma and an estimated twenty thousand new cases will be diagnosed this year. Though it is the second most common blood cancer, second to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it is still quite rare. As a result, many doctors and few patients are aware of the disease, which often leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms include bone pain, fatigue and anemia, which can all be attributed to many other maladies. Oftentimes, myeloma is discovered when the patient has suffered other complications that include kidney failure and heart problems, making treatment more difficult. As a result, one in five patients die within 60 days of diagnosis and another 40 percent die within five years. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential in beating those statistics.
While there is no cure for multiple myeloma, new medications and treatments have increased life expectancy and quality of life. Also encouraging is that more advancements have been made in the past few years than in almost any other cancer.
Ahlstrom, the founder of www.myelomacrowd.org, was diagnosed with myeloma at the age of 43. At the time she was parenting young children and living in Mexico. Lizzy was diagnosed at the age of 44 and was in living in San Diego with her children. Both women moved to Utah with their families to seek treatment at Huntsman, which included two stem cell transplants and maintenance therapy.
“Choosing your doctor is one of the most important decisions we cancer survivors can make,” says Jenny, who was treated both at Huntsman and at MD Anderson. “It is critical to find a myeloma specialist that knows the disease inside and out. There are many ways to treat this disease and the approaches vary widely. Making informed decisions matters.” Ahlstrom set out to provide others in the myeloma community with something she would have found helpful—a single place to find easy to understand, relevant and updated information. The site provides links to the best myeloma news sources, an online myeloma specialist directory, treatment protocol information, clinical trials, and a way to connect with others in the myeloma community.
“This diagnosis is overwhelming,” adds Smith, who helped launch the web site. “The first source we tend to turn to is the internet, but much information is outdated, alarming, and hard to understand. I believe that www.myelomacrowd.org is a valuable resource for helping others understand the disease and how best to navigate treatments and beyond.”
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple Myeloma is a hematologic cancer, or cancer of the blood. It is the second most common blood cancer, after non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. While Myeloma is not curable, thanks to the advancements of medications and treatment options, patients are living longer lives than ever.
Myelomacrowd.org is a newly launched site featuring everything about Multiple Myeloma and highlights the best resources available for the Myeloma community. Featuring comprehensive, updated and relevant information on a single site, patients are better able to make decisions affecting their care and stay educated about this disease.