Questions to Ask Your Medical Team about Multiple Myeloma

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Questions to ask your medical team about multiple myeloma.

Before Treatment

> What stage of myeloma do I have?

> Is the disease affecting my kidneys?

> How do I get a copy of the report from the pathologist?

> What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?

> Will I have more than one kind of treatment? How will my treatment change over time?

> What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?

> What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? What can I do to control the side effects?

> What can I do to prepare for treatment?

> Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?

> What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the cost?

> How will treatment affect my normal activities?

> Would a clinical trial be right for me? Can you help me find one?

> How often should I have checkups?

People with Stage 1 or Smoldering Myeloma

> If I choose watchful waiting, can I change my mind later on?

> Will the cancer be harder to treat later?

> How often will I have checkups?

> Between checkups, what problems should I tell you about?

Before Starting Initial Therapy

> Which drugs will I get? What will the treatment do?

> When will treatment start? When will it end? How often will I have treatments?

> Where will I go for treatment? Will I have to stay in the hospital?

> Will I have side effects during treatment?

> What side effects should I tell you about?

> Can I prevent or treat these side effects?

> Will there be lasting side effects? How long will they last? What can I do about them?

> How often will I need checkups?

Before Receiving Stem Cell Transplantation

> What kind of stem cell transplantation will I have? If I need a donor, how will I find one?

> How long will I be in the hospital? Will I need special care? How will I be protected from germs?

> What care will I need when I leave the hospital?

> How will I know if the treatment is working?

> What are the risks and the side effects?

> What can I do about them?

> What changes in normal activities will be necessary?

> What is my chance of a full recovery? How long will that take?

From "A Patient's Guide to Multiple Myeloma," published in the Winter 2011 issue of CURE. Download the full guide here.