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Multiple Myeloma Prognosis

Specific Factors Affecting a Multiple Myeloma Prognosis

The American Cancer Society estimated that 16,570 people (9,250 men and 7,320 women) would be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the U.S. during 2006, and 11,310 men and women would die as a result of the cancer in that same period.
The multiple myeloma prognosis will depend on:
  • The stage of multiple myeloma (see Multiple Myeloma Stage)
  • Whether a certain immunoglobulin (antibody) is present
  • Whether the kidney is damaged
  • Whether the cancer responds to initial treatment or recurs
  • The patient's age and general health.


Multiple Myeloma Prognosis: What Are Survival Rates?

Survival rates indicate the percentage of people with a certain type and stage of cancer who survive the disease for a specific period of time after their diagnosis. In most cases, statistics refer to the five-year survival rate. The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive five years after diagnosis, whether they have few or no signs or symptoms of cancer, are free of disease, or are receiving treatment. Survival rates are based on large groups of people; they cannot be used to predict what will happen to a particular patient. No two patients are exactly alike, and multiple myeloma treatment and responses to treatment vary greatly.

(Click Multiple Myeloma Treatment for information about treating multiple myeloma.)

Multiple Myeloma Prognosis: Survival Rates

Survival rates can be calculated by different methods for different purposes. The multiple myeloma survival rates presented here are based on the relative survival rate. The relative survival rate measures the survival of multiple myeloma patients in comparison to the general population to estimate the effect of cancer. The overall five-year relative multiple myeloma survival rate for 1995-2001 was 32.4 percent.
The five-year relative multiple myeloma survival rates by race and sex were:
  • 35.8 percent for Caucasian men
  • 28.1 percent for Caucasian women
  • 36.3 percent for African American men
  • 30.5 percent for African American women.
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