Multiple Myeloma

New faith-based awareness program promotes bone health among African Americans, Community disproportionately affected by multiple myeloma

(ARA) – Each year, as the winter months approach, people begin to think of ways to protect themselves against slips and falls due to inclement weather conditions. For the elderly, and more specifically, African Americans with multiple myeloma, this should be a year-round concern in an effort to maintain their bone health.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow and can lead to bone problems including pain, fractures and spinal cord compression. Nearly 95 percent of patients with advanced-stage multiple myeloma will experience disease spreading to their bones. Though not widely known, multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer among people living in the U.S., affecting 70,000 Americans, and impacting African Americans more than twice as often as Caucasians.

To address this significant health issue within the African American community, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (“Novartis”) is partnering with the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) on “To Stay in the Game, Maintain Your Frame,” an educational program to increase awareness about multiple myeloma and promote bone health particularly among those at highest risk – African American men ages 60 and older.

“The NBCI is dedicated to addressing health issues that are prominent within the African American community and providing critical wellness information that will benefit our members, congregations, churches and the public,” says Reverend Anthony Evans, president of the NBCI. “We are excited to be working with Novartis to educate this at-risk population and encourage healthy living habits and provide them with the tools to successfully manage their health.”

“To Stay in the Game, Maintain Your Frame” is made up of elements intended to educate African Americans with multiple myeloma about the need for doctor-patient dialogue about their condition and how to become active participants in their health. Patient education materials and tips for better bone health are provided through the NBCI’s coalition of 34,000 churches spanning 15 denominations and representing 15.7 million African Americans in the U.S.

Also featured in the program are instructional video clips demonstrating how to perform activities of daily living that may help reduce the risk of falls and other skeletal injuries. Ranging from indoor to outdoor activities, the video clips feature Dr. Doris Browne, an oncologist, and a patient demonstrating tips to safely perform everyday routines and benefit overall health and well-being.

To learn more about multiple myeloma and to view the instructional video clips, please visit

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