Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, more commonly known as MGUS, is a condition in which abnormal protein is present in the blood. MGUS is not a type of cancer, however approximately 1 percent of people diagnosed with MGUS eventually develop smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), multiple myeloma (MM), or another related condition.
Treatment is generally not recommended for people with MGUS. Instead, they undergo regular blood and urine tests to monitor their condition. Your doctor may suggest beginning a treatment plan if your condition changes.
Most people diagnosed with MGUS live with the condition without it ever developing into smoldering multiple myeloma or multiple myeloma. “My sister has had it for five years or so,” one member shared. “They check her labs ever six months - no signs of active myeloma.”
MGUS can still be scary, even if the likelihood of it progressing to MM is low. “My husband was diagnosed with MGUS three years ago,” a spouse on MyMyelomaTeam shared. “So far his labs are good, but it scares me to death.” She added, “We see the oncologist every six months, even though they say once a year is enough. But I want to keep an eye on things.”
The small percentage of people with MGUS who do develop multiple myeloma are generally diagnosed sooner than people who did not have MGUS first. “I had MGUS for 12 years prior to diagnosis with multiple myeloma,” a member shared. “I understand the odds are it won’t move on to MM from MGUS, but if you stay in contact with your oncologist you have a better chance of catching it early.”
On MyMyelomaTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with myeloma, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. MGUS is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some conversations about MGUS:
Here is a question-and-answer thread about MGUS:
Can you relate? Share your experience in the comments below or directly on MyMyelomaTeam.com.