Oh, I just looooooove this myeloma specialist!!! 🙂 Before I get carried away, though, and forget to publish the link to the interview, here it is: http://goo.gl/9QkPW Dr. Berenson makes so many good points, points that make TOTAL sense to me, that it’s a bit hard to choose only a few…
Well, I’ll give it a quick shot. I really REALLY liked what he said about about:
- A patient’s quality of life…e.g., the effect of treatment on mental function and functional impairment: “…Often we’re measuring response, but we’re forgetting about what it really does to the patient’s lifestyle.”
- When to begin treatment: “Just because you have a diagnosis doesn’t mean you need treatment,” he says. Yeah!
- The overtreatment of patients…the issue of transplants…
Perhaps most of all, though, I was interested in his advice for SMM folks: in order to try to prevent future bone problems, we should be taking supplemental vitamin D and calcium on a daily basis. (I would add that MGUS folks should at least have their vit D levels carefully monitored…) YES!!!
About three minutes into the interview, concerning bone issues, he says: “Let’s start just with simple things that you can do…First of all, vitamin D, calcium…We didn’t care about that 5 years ago.” But now, “We care a lot.” As I said, I LOVE THIS SPECIALIST!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!
Here’s a summary (from memory and a few jotted down notes…) of what he said specifically about vitamin D and calcium. Basically, all patients, MM and SMM (and, I would add, MGUS, too) should have their vitamin D levels tested in order to have a baseline. If their vit D baseline levels are low, they should take 50000 units of vit D per week for 8 weeks, then get re-tested. If their levels have gone back up, then they are probably okay with 1000 to 2000 units per day. If, instead, their baseline vit D levels are okay, then he recommends 1200 units a day. WOW!!!!! This is excellent!!!!!
As for calcium, he recommends taking 1 gram a day of elemental calcium…that is, not calcium gluconate or carbonate. I asked him a clarifying question about that and am waiting for his answer, which I will leave here in a comment as soon as I receive it…
Anyway, I highly recommend that you all watch this amazingly compelling 13-minute interview. Thank you, Dr. Berenson! 🙂