Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science
Screening for Multiple Myeloma: Should the Geriatric Population be Routinely Screened in Primary Care for MGUS or myeloma?
Dr. Trey Boyd
There are currently no recommended screenings worldwide for multiple myeloma or monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The most common initial symptoms of multiple myeloma include back pain, fatigue, infirmity, and bone pain.1 Myeloma patients often suffer from other comorbidities (including anemia, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis) that mask the disease. Since most patients with myeloma are over 70 years of age and have numerous other health issues, getting an initial diagnosis can be challenging and delayed.1 Furthermore, myeloma is often a brutal disease for patients and their families. The overall 5-year survival rate is only 55%, with the incidence of myeloma on the rise.2,3 Risk factors for myeloma include increasing age, being Black, being a man, having a close relative with myeloma, and/or having previously been diagnosed with MGUS.4 Research has shown that diagnosing a patient with myeloma in a primary care setting, as well as early identification of MGUS patients, can both prolong life and improve morbidity in myeloma sufferers.5,6 Due to the difficulty diagnosing, the poor prognosis, and the increasing incidence of the disease, screening for MGUS and multiple myeloma in primary care must be considered to decrease the time to diagnosis and improve the overall prognosis and survival of myeloma patients.
Eure-Hart C. Screening for Multiple Myeloma: Should the Geriatric Population be Routinely Screened in Primary Care for MGUS or myeloma?. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2023; 5(1).
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