Living with multiple myeloma: A life disrupted.
95 Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) an incurable cancer of the plasma cells is the second most common hematologic malignancy. Over 30,000 new diagnoses and over 12,000 deaths are attributed to MM annually in the United States. Dramatic improvements in survival over the past fifteen years have been fueled by the rapid introduction of new therapies and resulting changes in treatment patterns. Extended survival coupled with complex and ongoing treatment contributes to significant disruptions to daily living. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the many ways that a MM diagnosis disrupts and interferes with a person’s life in the current treatment era. Methods: A cross sectional qualitative descriptive study was conducted to explore the impacts of MM diagnosis and treatment on patients’ lives in the era of novel MM treatment. Semi-structured one-hour interviews were conducted at the Duke Cancer Center with MM patients and MM clinicians to explore MM’s impact on patients’ lives. Results: Fifteen MM patients and ten MM clinicians were interviewed between September 2017 and September 2018. Themes arose around ways that a MM diagnosis and treatment had far reaching and serious impacts on patients’ lives. Four major themes emerged: ‘Impacts on Social Life and Hobbies’, Maintaining Employment’, ‘Financial Pressure’, and ‘Relationship Stress'. Conclusions: The care of MM patients has made great strides as new and more effective treatments have extended survival for many patients. Health care at its best endeavors to reduce suffering as well as extend life. This study highlights the far-reaching impacts MM has on all aspects of patients’ lives. Understanding how a myeloma diagnosis and its treatment may interfere in patients’ lives could inform the development of interventions that target management strategies to limit these negative impacts.
LeBlanc, MR; LeBlanc, TW; Bryant, AL; Pollack, KI; Bailey, C; Smith, SK
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