Myeloma is a cancer with a high symptom burden and maintaining the quality of life for patients is at the forefront of nursing care. As advances in treatment continue this has been matched by longer progression-free survival and overall survival rates. These days over a third of myeloma patients live for 10 years or longer, and the 5 years survival rate is 47%.
However extended survival can mean myeloma patients live with a cumulative burden of disease effects and treatment-related toxicities, particularly as repeated lines of treatment are generally required to maintain disease control. In addition, patients often have coexistent health problems, as almost half of myeloma patients are aged over 75. The resulting physical, psychological and social consequences can impact negatively on the quality of life of patients and their families.
The following section provides nurses with information about screening and management of late effects in myeloma and an update on the quality of life measurement and use of patient-reported outcomes in myeloma management.
For more information on statistics in myeloma visit the following Cancer Research UK website: