What is Multiple Myeloma? - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

What is Multiple Myeloma?

Posted: Updated:

He's covered everything from presidents to war zones, but Tom Brokaw's toughest assignment is just getting started. The longtime NBC Nightly News anchor revealed he is battling a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. Brokaw and his doctors are optimistic about his outcome but the disease is incurable.

Overnight, Brokaw has become the face of Multiple Myeloma. We know he's fighting cancer, but what exactly is this disease? Multiple Myeloma is cancer of the plasma cells in a person's bone marrow. Essentially something has triggered the body into creating too many abnormal plasma cells which interferes with healthy blood cell production. These abnormal plasma cells also don't produce antibodies so the immune system can't fight off infections; making this disease much like a leukemia or lymphoma. Treatment often requires chemotherapy to wipe out the abnormal cells and then a follow up with a bone marrow transplant but beyond that doctors have few long-term answers.  

"This disease is not curable as we know however it is very controllable now with the amount of medications that we have and there are many medications coming down the pipeline so it will help in controlling the disease further until eventually we find a cure for it." Said Dr. Ahmed Galal, a hematologist at Avera McKennan.

20,000 Americans are diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma each year, another 11,000 end up losing their fight. If any good comes out of Brokaw's Battle it is that more awareness will be brought to the disease and more funding for research projects. Big strides have been made, but until there's a cure there is still plenty more to be done.

"10 years ago it was expected 36 months survival at best, now we are talking about eight years and nine years so it's a huge difference in survival for this kind of fatal disease basically." Said Dr. Galal.

Multiple Myeloma is a rare diagnosis, only counting for one percent of all cancers. But it is able to be treated aggressively and effectively at both of our local hospitals.

  • 36th Kingswood Rummage off to good start

    36th Kingswood Rummage off to good start

    36th Kingswood Rummage off to good start

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 09:10:15 GMT
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sale started on Wednesday and runs through Saturday. Roughly 300 homes will participate this year and as the city continues to grow, more homes will do the same. More >>
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sale started on Wednesday and runs through Saturday. Roughly 300 homes will participate this year and as the city continues to grow, more homes will do the same. More >>
  • Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Kingswood Rummage sale begins; some sellers working for a cause

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:50:58 GMT
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sales BeginsMore >>
    The 36th Annual Kingswood Rummage Sales BeginsMore >>
  • No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    No sound for Sioux Falls tornado siren test

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:22:37 GMT
    It is starting to warm up and spring has finally arrived, but with that, comes severe weather. This morning the tornado sirens were tested, but many in the Sioux Falls area did not hear them. The Emergency Manager for Sioux Falls said it was a communication problem. And other than that they are not exactly sure why it happened. We all know what the tornado siren means - potentially dangerous weather approaching. On Wednesday South Dakota had a state-wide test for when the storms roll through....More >>
    It is starting to warm up and spring has finally arrived, but with that, comes severe weather. This morning the tornado sirens were tested, but many in the Sioux Falls area did not hear them. The Emergency Manager for Sioux Falls said it was a communication problem. And other than that they are not exactly sure why it happened. We all know what the tornado siren means - potentially dangerous weather approaching. On Wednesday South Dakota had a state-wide test for when the storms roll through....More >>
  • Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Redfield family keeps local drive-in alive

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:43:58 GMT
    Catching a flick at a drive-in movie theater is almost a thing of the past.Several small town indoor theaters even have a hard time surviving.On easter day Redfield lost their cinema, and one local family was not about to let the town's drive-in close as well. “Our community is pretty small, and if it would close there is probably no chance it would open again, so we didn't want to see it close we wanted to continue to see it in our community,” Drive-in co-owner Stacey Marlow said. Painting, ...More >>
    Catching a flick at a drive-in movie theater is almost a thing of the past.Several small town indoor theaters even have a hard time surviving.On easter day Redfield lost their cinema, and one local family was not about to let the town's drive-in close as well. “Our community is pretty small, and if it would close there is probably no chance it would open again, so we didn't want to see it close we wanted to continue to see it in our community,” Drive-in co-owner Stacey Marlow said. Painting, ...More >>
  • Wife of slain correctional officer holds prison officials responsible in court

    Wife of slain correctional officer holds prison officials responsible in court

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:30:13 GMT
    A federal judge has heard from both sides in a case to determine if the South Dakota Department of Corrections is responsible for the murder of prison guard Ronald "RJ" Johnson.The court hasn't reached a decision yet. There's a few things the judge must consider first with this case.More >>
    A federal judge has heard from both sides in a case to determine if the South Dakota Department of Corrections is responsible for the murder of prison guard Ronald "RJ" Johnson.The court hasn't reached a decision yet. There's a few things the judge must consider first with this case.More >>
  • Proposed policy for transgender students

    Proposed policy for transgender students

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:26:04 GMT
    The South Dakota High School Activities Association had its first reading Wednesday for a policy on transgender students.The policy would allow students to participate in activities according to their identified gender, not necessarily the gender listed on their records.Recently, a South Dakota transgender student was interested in competing in interscholastic activities. James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association told KSFY that at the time there was no transgender ...More >>
    The South Dakota High School Activities Association had its first reading Wednesday for a policy on transgender students.The policy would allow students to participate in activities according to their identified gender, not necessarily the gender listed on their records.Recently, a South Dakota transgender student was interested in competing in interscholastic activities. James Weaver with the South Dakota High School Activities Association told KSFY that at the time there was no transgender ...More >>
  • Traffic backed up on I-29 south of Sioux Falls

    Traffic backed up on I-29 south of Sioux Falls

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:21:19 GMT
    Traffic is delayed near the Davis/Hurley exit on Interstate 29 after a crash in that area.More >>
    Traffic is delayed near the Davis/Hurley exit on Interstate 29 after a crash in that area.More >>
  • South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    South Dakota tribes take their KXL fight to Washington

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:47 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:47:50 GMT
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
    The president's decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL Pipeline may be months away, but South Dakota's tribes are joining with other Native American groups, landowners, and environmental advocates this week in demanding they not only be heard - but seen as well. And the spot they chose could hardly be more visible.It's a sight that wouldn't phase most South Dakotans, but in Washington D.C., tipi's, horses, and headdresses stand out.Members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance - tribal mem...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.