Cancer Home > Multiple Myeloma Prognosis

A multiple myeloma prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of the disease. Factors that can affect the prognosis for a person with multiple myeloma include such things as the stage of the disease, whether a certain immunoglobulin (antibody) is present, and whether the kidney is damaged. Doctors considering a person's multiple myeloma prognosis will consider factors such as these along with statistics from many other cases; however, a prognosis is only a prediction. Doctors cannot say with certainty what the outcome will be for a particular patient.

Multiple Myeloma Prognosis: An Introduction

People facing multiple myeloma are naturally concerned about what the future holds. Understanding multiple myeloma and what to expect can help patients and their loved ones:


Many people with the disease want to know their multiple myeloma prognosis. They may ask their doctor or search for multiple myeloma statistics on their own.


Multiple Myeloma Prognosis: What Is a Prognosis?

A prognosis is a medical opinion as to the likely course and outcome of a disease. In other words, the prognosis is the chance that a patient will recover or have a recurrence (return of the cancer). Many factors affect a person's cancer prognosis, including:
  • The type and location of the cancer
  • The stage of the disease (the extent to which the cancer has metastasized, or spread)
  • Its grade (how abnormal the cancer cells look and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread)
  • The person's age, general health, and response to treatment.
When doctors consider a person's multiple myeloma prognosis, they carefully weigh all of the factors that could affect that person's disease and treatment, and then try to predict what might happen. The doctor will base the multiple myeloma prognosis on information researchers have collected over many years about hundreds, or even thousands, of people with cancer. When possible, the doctor will use statistics based on groups of people whose situations are most similar to that of an individual patient. The doctor may speak of a favorable multiple myeloma prognosis if the cancer is likely to respond well to treatment. The multiple myeloma prognosis may be unfavorable if the cancer is likely to be difficult to control. However, it is important to keep in mind that a prognosis is only a prediction; even the doctor cannot be absolutely certain about the outcome for a particular patient.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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