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NCPD Article

African American Patients With Multiple Myeloma: Optimizing Care to Decrease Racial Disparities

Amy Pierre
Tiffany H. Williams
CJON 2020, 24(4), 439-443 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.439-443

The incidence of multiple myeloma in African Americans is two to three times higher than in other ethnicities and is the leading hematologic malignancy in African Americans. Despite the high incidence of multiple myeloma in African American individuals, a vast majority experience delays in diagnosis and reduced usage of effective therapies, including stem cell transplantation, as well as low participation in clinical trials. Racial disparities, social and financial health disparities, and barriers to earlier access to care can lead to poorer patient outcomes. There are also unique characteristics in the disease manifestation in African Americans with multiple myeloma that are imperative for oncology nurses to understand and recognize to provide optimal care.


  • Multiple myeloma is the leading hematologic disease in African Americans.
  • African Americans with multiple myeloma face health disparities in diagnosis, novel therapeutics, resources, and services.
  • To establish individualized plans of care for African Americans diagnosed with multiple myeloma, consider clinical features and comorbidities.

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