March is declared as Myeloma Awareness month.
Indian Myeloma Academic Groupe (IMAGe) is a research oriented group that studies plasma cell disorders in patients from the Indian Sub continent. It is a forum for patients, caregivers, and doctors. It was launched in 2018.
IMAGe ,in association with Myrloma Support groups ,Yoddhas and Myeloma Friends Trust, has been conducting an online session every Monday from 4pm to 5 pm. The event includes panelists from IMAGe and other experts who give answers to the questions by the participants. They also have subject experts who speak about the different complications experienced by patients, the latest treatments like Car-t etc
Every week, one patient who has successfully battled Myeloma for more than 10 years is invited to share their experience.
This year, I, too, was invited to share my experience. This is the first time I got to speak in an online session where around 50 participants attended.
There is not much awareness about Multiple Myeloma among the public. The most common symptom of this disease is low Hb count ,bone fractures, and frequent infections because immunity is low. As the plasma cells ,which produce the white blood cells , are affected , the immunity is low.
Other factors like stress can aggravate the disease, and hence, one should take care of their mental health too.
When I was diagnosed, there were no forums for Multiple Myeloma in India. It is good to see a lot of developments to educate people and carry out further research.