ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu.
Multiple myeloma is not a common cancer but is the second most common blood cancer after non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In the United States, the lifetime risk for multiple myeloma is about 1 in 143. This year, an estimated 30,300 adults (17,900 men and 12,430 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
It is estimated that 12,650 deaths (6,430 men and 6,220 women) from this disease will occur this year.
The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with multiple myeloma is about 47%. Survival has steadily increased over the last decade, so the 5-year survival rate may underestimate the impact of recent progress made in the treatment of this disease. Moreover, several factors affect an individual’s survival, such as the person’s age and overall health. For instance, it is known that survival rates are higher in younger people than in older people.
It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with multiple myeloma. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2016, and the National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database.
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.