2012-12-05 20:51:24 -
Myeloma Canada will play a special role at this year’s ASH meeting December 8th through the 11th in Atlanta, Georgia. At the meeting, experts will present the latest research findings to help improve the treatment of blood cancers including multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer.
On Sunday evening December 9th, Myeloma Canada, in collaboration with the International Myeloma Foundation and the IMF Latin America, will co-host a workshop for journalists from around the world. The workshop will introduce the journalists to leading myeloma experts to learn about the latest treatments and raise awareness of the disease. The workshop will be streamed live and later archived on the Myeloma Canada website: www.myeloma.ca : cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww .. .
On Monday evening December
10th, Myeloma Canada will host a dinner and reception for the journalists, giving them an opportunity to meet myeloma patients who can provide a personal view of living with this cancer and who demonstrate the important role new therapies play in providing many patients with a good quality of life.
Mike Kacsor of Toronto says, “I was about to be married when I learned I had multiple myeloma. I wasn’t sure how my fiancé would react, but we did get married and we celebrated our 16th anniversary this year”.
Linda Latham of Vancouver Island will also be at the meeting. She says, “I’ve had myeloma for 17 years, active disease for seven of those years.
I needed two stem cell transplants six months apart. That was very hard.
But today I’m on a low dose of a drug called Revlimid that’s much easier to take. I sew for my grandchildren and I work part time as a nurse administrator from my home”.
Several other patients will be seen in a video that was recorded at the Myeloma Canada National Conference in Winnipeg in September. There will also be a special guest from the United States, Don Wright, who at age 71 will arrive at ASH after completing his 70th marathon. All 70 races were run during the eight years since he was diagnosed with myeloma.
“These patient profiles are important because they clearly show the value of the newest treatments, some of which are not yet available in Canada outside of clinical trials”, said Aldo Del Col, Co-founder and Executive Director of Myeloma Canada. “We hope to encourage more drug approvals by showing that treatments can help patients live longer, productive lives even with cancer”. And, as Mike Kacsor says, “they can continue to work and pay taxes”.
Multiple myeloma (or simply myeloma) is a cancer of the plasma cells (white blood cells that reside in the bone marrow) that can lead to anemia, infections, bone lesions, vertebral compressions, osteoporosis, severe pain and kidney dysfunction. Early symptoms of the disease may include fatigue, recurrent infections (such as cold sores) and bone pain.
Every day, seven more Canadians are diagnosed with this incurable but increasingly treatable cancer; it is estimated that in 2011, 2,400 new cases of myeloma were diagnosed in Canada. It is most often diagnosed between 65 and 70 years of age and is slightly more common in men than in women.
Although new treatments have helped patients live longer, more productive lives, over 1,300 Canadians still die from this incurable cancer every year. Approximately 7,000 Canadians are currently living with myeloma.
About Myeloma Canada
Myeloma Canada, the only national organization exclusively devoted to the Canadian myeloma community, is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to supporting people living with multiple myeloma. The mission of Myeloma Canada is to: provide educational resources to patients, families and caregivers; increase awareness of the disease; promote access to new therapies, treatment options and health care resources; and advance Canadian research initiatives.
Myeloma Canada works with regional support groups, international myeloma patient groups, government agencies, hospitals and leading myeloma experts to strengthen the voice and advance the cause of the Canadian myeloma community.
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Media:For Myeloma Canada:Jennifer Anderson,