ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with multiple myeloma each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.
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 132. This year, an estimated 32,110 adults (18,130 men and 13,980 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
It is estimated that 12,960 deaths (6,990 men and 5,970 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 over 50%. For the 5% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 72%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is almost 50%.
Survival rates have 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 the survival rates for people with multiple myeloma are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society website and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database (January 2019).
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by multiple myeloma. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.