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Problems of myeloma in a community.
  1. N. G. Flanagan,
  2. J. C. Ridway,
  3. A. Jain,
  4. C. C. Platt,
  5. A. G. Irving
  1. Department of Haematology, Victoria Hospital, Blackpool, Lancashire, UK.


    The presenting features of 120 consecutive cases of myeloma diagnosed in a single unit were examined. Screening tests on routine laboratory samples increased the detection rate but did not significantly reduce the percentage of cases presenting with late stage disease. Morbidity was closely related to the incidence of bone involvement already present at diagnosis. About one fifth of cases had reported suspicious symptoms for some considerable time before further investigation was forthcoming. Almost half had 'benefitted' by having concurrent disease which often led to the discovery of myeloma at an early stage. These findings, together with the wide variety of symptomatology and few physical signs, stressed the critical importance of having a high index of suspicion and thus taking suitable blood samples without unnecessary delay.

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