Myeloma diagnosis as a multi-speciality challenge
The individualised and complex nature of myeloma and its presenting symptoms can make diagnosis a difficult and indirect process. Symptoms are often vague, such as musculoskeletal pain, infections and tiredness. Age and the presence of comorbidities in addition to symptoms of anaemia and back pain can increase diagnostic delay. This delay affects treatment options and prognosis, puts undue psychological stress on patients and families and is associated with an increased risk of complications.
Myeloma sits within an increasingly complex and pressurised healthcare environment. It is important to understand the barriers that prolong diagnosis, both in primary and secondary care, in order to develop interventions to minimise delays.