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Talking to Your Doctor About Multiple Myeloma

Updated on August 03, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Mark Levin, M.D.
Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Most people ask more questions when ordering a meal at a restaurant or purchasing a phone than they do during an appointment with their health care provider. Studies have shown that people who are involved in treatment decisions have fewer regrets about treatment, are more likely to stick with their treatment plan, and wind up spending less on health care. On the other hand, people who are less involved in treatment planning risk poor health outcomes when they don’t express their needs and preferences to their doctors.

Shared decision-making is an approach to health care in which you and your doctor discuss your multiple myeloma treatment options and goals and come to a mutual decision about which treatment is best for you. In shared decision-making, your doctor explains the potential benefits and risks of each treatment for multiple myeloma, and you help the doctor understand what is most important to you.

For shared decision-making to work, you must identify your priorities and communicate them to your doctor. Your main goal may be:

  • Achieving or maintaining remission
  • Avoiding uncomfortable side effects or serious potential complications
  • Maintaining your current lifestyle as much as possible during treatment

The doctor discussion guide below can help you make the most of your time with your doctor and make sure you have all the information you need to participate in shared decision-making. Download it to your phone or print it for your next doctor appointment.

There are more treatment options than ever for multiple myeloma, but it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of each. Whether you’re on a medication or chemotherapy regimen, a candidate for a stem cell transplant, considering radiation therapy, or interested in participating in a research study (called a clinical trial), shared decision-making can help you choose the best treatment for you with the guidance and expertise of your health care team.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Mark Levin, M.D. is a hematology and oncology specialist with over 37 years of experience in internal medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Kelly Crumrin is a senior editor at MyHealthTeam and leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

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