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Why is that?

There are several reasons why this difference in outcomes exists. Recent studies have shown a few likely causes: 

  • The primary cause is likely a gap in access to treatment. When compared with White patients, Black patients are less likely to receive newer treatments. They also have a longer delay before receiving treatment after they are diagnosed
  • Location and insurance coverage can also play a part in delaying diagnosis and treatment
What are some of the disparities in care that people of color with MM might face?
  Learn more
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Visit HealthTree Foundation para Mieloma Multiple

It’s understandable to have misgivings about the healthcare system

There may be a lack of trust in the healthcare system overall due to bad experiences in the past. This is not the patients’ fault, but this mistrust can lead to hesitancy to try certain treatments. This is why it is so important to find a doctor you can trust. You should feel able to speak openly about your concerns, treatment, and disease management.

How to take action

There are some things you can do to help close this gap in access and receive the care that is right for you:

Learn what treatments are available

This can help you have an informed conversation with your doctor. 

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The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has a guide listing the current treatment options.
Learn about current MM therapies

Know which treatments are recommended at different stages of MM 

Ask your doctor why they do or do not agree with some treatment approaches. This can also be useful in determining if you should look for an expert opinion.

The International Myeloma Foundation has a brochure that reviews what MM is and how it can be treated at different stages.
View the guide to MM and treatments

Document everything 

If you ask about a specific therapy and your doctor says it’s not right for you, ask to have your request put in your medical file. And make sure to request any documentation after each visit. 

Find tips on how to be your own advocate

Trust your gut

If you feel like you still don’t understand all of the treatment options available to you, ask for an expert opinion from an MM specialist. Expert opinions (or “second opinions”) are very common, and your doctor should be supportive of your request.

Let's recap
  • Black people living with MM have not seen the same improvement in outcomes in recent years as White people living with MM 
  • This gap is mostly due to unequal access to treatment, especially new treatments. Other factors like location and insurance coverage can also play a part
  • Learn to be your own best advocate. Getting informed about your treatment options can help you feel more empowered. Try to find a doctor who makes you feel seen and heard

More about equity

Based on Age

Find out more about the differences in how older patients are sometimes treated. 

Based on Income

Get helpful resources that can help people with lower incomes make their treatment more affordable.

Based on Location

Look at how living in a rural area can affect access to treatments, and how to close that gap.

Partner With Your Doctor

Learn how to build strong relationships with your healthcare team and make the most of your doctor visits.  

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