"I had to teach myself about this because I knew nothing of it," Laura Mooney said. "Knowledge is power."
Multiple Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer, though the majority of patients have never heard of it until they are diagnosed. The cancer attacks the cells in the bone marrow that affect the immune system and can damage bone. Multiple Myeloma currently affects more than 100,000 people in the United States, with an estimated 20,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Once a disease of the elderly, multiple myeloma is now being found in increasing numbers in people under 65. Because it is a rare disease, there can be a delayed diagnosis, leading to delayed treatment.
“Mutliple Myeloma is often misdiagnosed, which causes treatment to be delayed,” noted BP Oddo. “Raising awareness of this disease will help patients get an earlier and correct diagnosis, which can lead to a better outcome.”
Mrs. Mooney encourages her neighbors to get annual bloodwork and learn to read it themselves and talk with their doctor about abnormalities. For more information on the disease and resources for those affected by it, visit myeloma.org.