NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Multiple Myeloma - page 30

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NCCN Guidelines for Patients™: Multiple Myeloma
Version 1.2012
3.4 Treatments for myeloma symptoms
Treatment of the health conditions and symptoms
caused by the myeloma is called adjunctive treatment.
Adjunctive treatment is an important part of overall
therapy. Some of the ways to treat the symptoms of
myeloma include:
Bone damage
Multiple myeloma often weakens and destroys bones.
Therefore, if you are receiving primary myeloma
therapy, you should also receive drugs called
bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are injected
intravenously. They help strengthen bones and
decrease the frequency of complications, such as
fractures. However, these drugs can cause side effects,
including osteonecrosis of the jaw.
You may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon to help
prevent or treat a bone fracture. Surgeons can prevent
bone fractures by placing a splint to support the bone
and hold it in place. Surgery for fractures in the spinal
vertebrae includes two similar procedures called
vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.
A vertebroplasty is used to treat bone compression
fractures in the spinal vertebrae. It involves injecting a
type of cement into the bones. The cement supports
and strengthens the bones for pain relief and to hold
them in place.
You may hear about other treatments from your
family and friends. They may suggest using CAM
(
c
omplementary and
a
lternative
m
edicine). CAM is a
group of treatments that aren’t often given by doctors.
There is much interest today in CAM for cancer. Many
CAMs are being studied to see if they are truly helpful.
Complementary medicines are treatments given
along with usual medical treatments. While CAMs
aren’t known to kill cancer cells, they may improve
your comfort and well-being. Two examples are
acupuncture for pain management and yoga for
relaxation.
Alternative medicine is used in place of usual medicine.
Some alternative medicines are sold as cures even
though they haven’t been proven to work. If there
was good proof that CAMs or other treatments cured
cancer, they would be included in this booklet.
It is important to tell your treatment team if you are
using any CAMs. They can tell you which CAMs
may be helpful and which CAMs may limit how well
treatments work.
Complementary and
alternative medicine
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