Myeloma (blood cancer)
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops in your bone marrow. It usually affects many places in your body where you have bone marrow, which is why it is often called multiple myeloma. This includes the bones of your spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage and the areas around your shoulders and hips.
NHS Choices has more information about myeloma.
What to expect at your appointment
Your first appointment at hospital may take between 45 minutes and two hours. You may have tests and investigations on the same day or at a later date.
You will see one of our consultants who specialises in blood cancer. They will ask you about your symptoms and your general health and may examine you. You will have blood tests at this consultation and some more may be arranged for you at a later date to help with diagnosis. At the end of your appointment, your doctor will explain your care plan and any other tests or investigations you need.
You may also meet the myeloma clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who will be your key worker during your care and will support you and your family. You will also be given written information about the type of cancer you have, your treatment options and other sources of support such as King's Macmillan Information and Support Centre.
We usually send you appointment letters for tests, investigations or treatments by post.
Tests and investigations
At your first appointment you may have one or more of the following tests at King's or you may be asked to return at a later date to have them. They help us to find out whether you have cancer and to assess your treatment options. They include:
- blood tests
- bone marrow aspiration and thephine biopsy
- CT scan of your chest, abdomen and pelvis
- MRI scan
- x-ray of your whole body called a skeletal survey
Your care and treatment depends on the type cancer you have, its size and where it is, how far it has advanced (the stage) and your overall health. The final decision about what treatment you have is yours.
After our team of specialists reviews the results of your tests and investigations, we will arrange another appointment so you can discuss your treatment options with your consultant and clinical nurse specialist.
There are many different types of chemotherapy which you can have at various stages of myeloma. King’s is a test centre for new therapies and we offer our patients the chance to take part in clinical trials if appropriate.
You may also be offered an autograft, which is a type of bone marrow transplant. This is carried out at King's.
Who to contact
At your first appointment, we will tell you who your key worker is, and how and when you can contact them. Your key worker is usually a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
Macmillan myeloma clinical nurse specialist
Tel: +44 (0)20 3299 5839
Pager number: ring 020 3299 9000 and ask for pager KH 4293
Monday 10.30am – 5pm
Tuesday 8am – 4.30pm
Wednesday 10.30am – 6.30pm
Thursday 8am – 2pm
Friday 10.30am – 2pm
Other useful contacts
Debbie Cave, AML, Myelofibrosis Transplant Co-ordinator: +44 (0)20 3299 5268
Mithu Doorga-Scamell, Myeloma Transplant Co-ordinator: +44 (0)20 3299 2978
Outside of working hours and weekends, call King's switchboard on +44(0)20 3299 9000 and ask to be put through to the on-call haematology registrar.
If you have practical queries or want further information about support groups, contact the Macmillan Centre at King’s.
Your care will be provided by a group of experts called a multidisciplinary team (MDT). This is a team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals specialising in treating your type of cancer. You can discuss your care with them and ask them any questions you have about your treatment.
- Dr Maj Kazmi
- Professor Steve Schey
- Dr Matthew Streetly
How we support you
We want to make sure that you get all the assistance you need to live well with – and after – cancer. There’s a wide range of support available to help you cope with cancer, including physical, emotional and practical advice for you, your family, friends and carers.
South London Myeloma Support Group meets from 6-7.30pm every three months at St Thomas' Hospital.