Is there such thing at stage 4 Multiple Myeloma?

Katara2011 asked...

My mom who is now 72 years old, told me she has stage 4 MM from her doctor, but all websites only show 3 stages, could she be telling me wrong?

Expert Answer

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Hello Katara, You are right,there are three stages in Multiple Myeloma. In Stage 4 for other cancers, as you know, the cancer has metastasized (or spread) to other parts of the body and has entered other organs. What I'm concerned about here is that she doesn't understand what her total diagnosis is. If she in fact has another kind of cancer that has has 4 stages, her care may need to be different. Often, patients may not be fully listening -- whether they are in shock, upset, or just have hearing challenges. Can you ask her for permission to have her nurse share the diagnosis and proposed treatment with you? You can be more help to her when you have the proper information. Good luck.