Multiple Myeloma: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2020

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 it is the second most common blood cancer diagnosis, after non-Hodgkin lymphoma, in the United States. This year, an estimated 32,270 adults (17,530 men and 14,740 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

It is estimated that 12,830 deaths (7,190 men and 5,640 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 overall 5-year survival rate for people with multiple myeloma is 52%.

For the 5% of people who are diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is almost 74%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 51%. Approximately 95% of cases are diagnosed at this stage.

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 websites of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (sources accessed January 2020).

The next section in this guide is Medical IllustrationsIt offers drawings of body parts often affected by multiple myeloma. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.