The Myeloma Early Diagnosis Working Group held their final meeting of the year earlier this month in London. The Group was established in late 2016 and consists of a panel of leading haematologists, primary healthcare professionals (such as GPs) and researchers. They meet multiple times a year to discuss and plan projects to address the poignant issue of delayed diagnosis in myeloma patients. Myeloma has one of the highest rates of delays in diagnosis of any cancer, with one-third (34%) of patients diagnosed through emergency routes rather than GP referral.
Currently, the Working Group is working on various research and best practice initiatives to address these challenges. Activities include investigating the causes of early mortality, improving consistency in laboratory protocols/procedures, and looking at how to assist GPs in ordering the right tests at the right time. They plan to present some of this work at the upcoming British Society for Haematology Annual Conference in April 2018.
Dr. Fenella Willis, Chair of the Myeloma Early Diagnosis Working Group said, “We have had a very productive year, making progress to create awareness of myeloma amongst healthcare professionals. We hope to continue this work in 2018, to ensure that myeloma patients receive an accurate diagnosis as early as possible.”
Earlier this year the Working Group reviewed and contributed to the Myeloma UK Diagnosis Pathway. The Pathway is designed as a quick reference tool to assist doctors to reach a myeloma diagnosis. With the help of our supporters, we distributed over 4,000 copies to GPs and healthcare professionals across the UK.
You can help the Myeloma Early Diagnosis Working Group achieve their goals by taking a Diagnosis Pathway to your GP. A copy of the Pathway can be downloaded here. If you would like to request hard copies of the Pathway, please contact Ely Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.