Faraja Cancer Support Trust has launched the first
multiple myeloma support group g in the country.
The support group will provide a
platform for sharing information and giving hope to myeloma and
lymphoma cancer patients and their caregivers.
Multiple myeloma is a rare kind of
cancer that affects the bone marrow.
The cancer is formed by malignant
plasma cells which play an important part is an individual’s
When the plasma cells become cancerous
and grow out of control, they produce a tumor called
plasmacytoma. Multiplication of the plasmacytoma is called
The disease is prevalent in mature age
groups between 40-71 years.
Dr. Anne Mwirigi, Consultant
Haematologist and Haema-oncologist, says, “The diagnosis and
treatment of myeloma is evolving and we are seeing more
patients living longer.
“This is mainly attributed to advanced
research in cancer treatment and drugs.
“Additionally, we encourage people to
live healthy lifestyles and get screened for cancer. Early
detection has positive effect in successful treatment.”
Some patients have no symptoms of
multiple myeloma however; the disease is characterized by bone
pain, impaired kidney functions and increased vulnerability to
The definitive cause of multiple
myeloma has not been established, but research has suggested
several factors may be risk factors or contribute to multiple
myeloma development in an individual.
Currently, there is no evidence that
heredity plays a role in multiple myeloma development so it is
not considered to be a hereditary disease.
Environmental exposures to herbicides,
insecticides, benzene, hair dyes, and radiation have been
suggested as causes but definitive data is lacking. Inflammation
and infection have been suggested but again not proven to cause
Speaking at the launch, Philip Odiyo,
Patient Support Manager, Faraja Cancer Support Trust added,
“Psychological stress of dealing with cancer can be daunting.
The road to recovery for both the
patient and caregiver may not be pre-determined by the doctors.
Nevertheless, meeting people facing the same situation can be a
helpful coping tool to complement formal treatment.”
Faraja has started the support group
to offer psychological support to the rising cases of myeloma,
lymphoma and leukemia patients.
The support group will be an addition
to the breast, cervical and prostate cancer meetings hosted at
Faraja plans on including leukemia
patients to this dynamic and impactful group.