Understanding Multiple Myeloma: Watchful Waiting
If you have smoldering myeloma without symptoms, you may only need to be monitored closely by your healthcare team. This is often called “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance.” You will have regular checkups (such as every 3 months). If symptoms start, you will start treatment. The benefit to watchful waiting is that it avoids or delays the side effects of treatment.
Patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) may also be recommended for watchful waiting. MGUS is a condition in which there is a higher-than-normal level of a protein called M protein in the blood. Patients with MGUS are at an increased risk of developing cancer such as multiple myeloma.
If your doctor recommends watchful waiting you may want to ask the following questions:
- How often will I have checkups?
- Between checkups, what problems should I tell you about?
- What will my treatment plan be if symptoms begin?