CANSA BMSF Multiple Myeloma Programme
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple Myeloma is a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help fight infections by making antibodies that recognise and attack germs. Cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.
How does the Multiple Myeloma Programme help?
The Multiple Myeloma Programme was developed to provide the patients affected by multiple myeloma with support during their cancer journey and help alleviate associated psychosocial concerns that may arise.
This is a grant funded programme that works in partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation , King Edward Hospital V111 and patients affected by haematological cancers from surrounding public sector patients in the Durban region.
The programme commenced in January 2022 with the main objectives of the programme commencing in April 2022 after the successful recruitment of the programme coordinator.
The program focuses on 3 objectives:
Objective 1: To provide accommodation, transport, meals, and care for Multiple Myeloma patients as well as patients diagnosed with hematological cancers at CANSA’s Mkhuhla Care Home.
- Thus far the programme has provided services to 224 haematological cancer patients who stayed at CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home.
- The quality of life assessment tool is used to measure the outcome of focused interventions as carried out by the coordinator. Over a two year period we aim to measure the impact of CANSA’s interventions on the journey of Multiple Myeloma patients.
Objective 2: To support Multiple Myeloma patients and their loved ones through CANSA’s various psychosocial support programmes.
- Since commencing the programme we have supported 338 patients and caregivers who attended the Multiple Myeloma Clinic at King Edward V111 hospital .
- We also carry out follow up routine CANSA tele counselling sessions with both patients and caregivers.
- Due to the debilitating effects of this cancer patients also need assistive devices e.g. wheelchairs and crutches which is provided as motivated by the treating specialist.
Objective 3: To educate Multiple Myeloma and their care giver on their cancer journey.
- The programme is set to provide educational material for patients and carers to further enhance their understanding of their diagnosis. In partnership with Blood SA an infographic (see above) was developed to assist CANSA with this intervention. CANSA ‘s existing materials e.g. dietary tips and pain management guidelines are also shared with patients and caregivers where needed.
- The programme also wishes to bring awareness on Multiple Myeloma through social media platforms e.g. website updates, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram stories.
- Through the different methods employed by the programme 220 patients and caregivers have been educated .
- We also plan to assist with community awareness and education at cluster sites to further assist with early diagnosis and detection of Multiple Myeloma.
- We are also pleased to announce the signing of an MOU between CANSA KZN and King Edward Hospital V111 hospital to continue with services at the Multiple Myeloma outpatient clinic and for the establishment of a support group at the hospital. This is a milestone for CANSA since this will be the first in hospital Multiple Myeloma support group.
A Multiple Myeloma patient receiving a wheelchair from CANSA through the programme
The images below show some of the events / aspects of Multiple Myeloma Programme:
Counselling Sessions with Social Worker at the CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home
MM Coordinator facilitating patient support with ER24 during radiation treatment.
Thus, also establishing a partnership with ER24 for the transportation of patients during emergencies.
Patient education forms an important part of service offering intervention carried out
at King Edward Hospital during a counselling session