Multiple myeloma patients are used to friends or family confusing their blood cancer (multiple myeloma) with the skin cancer (melanoma). Beyond the naming mixups, myeloma patients may actually have more to worry about, with a higher risk of developing melanoma in addition to myeloma.
At a recent dermatology meeting, data was presented showing that patients with multiple myeloma are more likely to develop melanoma than the general population. The data also showed that myeloma patients may face a non-melanoma related higher mortality rate - no surprise to the myeloma patient community.
Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the study reviewed almost 80,000 patients with multiple myeloma. Of the 79,174 patients, 261 developed at least one melanoma (177 men and 84 women).
The cases of melanoma were higher in patients who were:
Myeloma patients with melanoma had:
The dermatologists suggested that myeloma patients be more carefully watched and take action on potential melanomas earlier than they might normally.
So how do we stay safer in the sun, now that warmer weather is upon us?
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of HealthTree Foundation (formerly Myeloma Crowd).