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Myeloma survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for myeloma by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by geography and on socio-economic variation.

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

78% of men survive myeloma for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 50% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with myeloma during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1 Survival for women is slightly lower, with 75% surviving for one year or more, and 44% predicted to survive for at least five years.

Table 3.1: Myeloma (C90), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 77.9 49.8 36.6
95% LCL 77.9 49.3 34.8
95% UCL 78.0 50.3 38.4
Women Net Survival 75.1 43.8 28.1
95% LCL 75.1 43.0 25.3
95% UCL 75.2 44.5 30.9
Adults Net Survival 76.6 47.0 32.5
95% LCL 76.6 46.5 31.0
95% UCL 76.6 47.4 34.1

Download this table XLS (32KB) PPT (138KB) PDF (26KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Myeloma survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 37% of men and 28% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with myeloma during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for myeloma ranks 6th lowest overall.

Figure 3.1: Myeloma (C90), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_myeloma.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (72KB)

Survival for myeloma is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses. An analysis of patients diagnosed with myeloma during 1991-1999 suggests all four UK countries have similar survival.4

section reviewed 05/12/14
section updated 05/12/14

 

By age

Five-year survival for myeloma is highest in the youngest men and women and decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 65% in 15-49 year-olds to 21% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with myeloma in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).5 In women, five-year survival ranges from 72% to 16% in the same age groups.

The decrease in survival with age may be partly attributable to fewer treatment options being available for older myeloma patients, who are often considered to be ineligible for transplants and unable to tolerate strong or sustained chemotherapy due to poor general health.6 Older patients may also be less likely to survive the first weeks after diagnosis due to higher levels of co-morbidity.7

Figure 3.2: Myeloma (C90), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_myeloma.swf

Download this chart XLS (43KB) PPT (124KB) PDF (43KB)

section reviewed 05/12/14
section updated 05/12/14

 

Trends over time

As with most cancers, survival for myeloma is improving. Some of the increase is likely to be attributable to earlier diagnosis and better detection,8 though improvements since the early 1990s probably reflect the effective and widespread use of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation from the mid-1980s onwards.

One-year age-standardised net survival for myeloma in men has increased from 37% during 1971-1972 to 78% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 41 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1 In women, one-year survival has increased from 38% to 75% over the same time period (a difference of 37 percentage points).

Figure 3.3: Myeloma (C90), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_myeloma.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (54KB)

Five-year age-standardised net survival for myeloma in men has increased from 12% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 50% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 38 percentage points (Figure 3.4).1 In women, five-year survival has increased from 11% to 44% over the same time period (a difference of 32 percentage points).

Figure 3.4: Myeloma (C90), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_myeloma.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (54KB)

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year survival has increased by a lesser amount than one- and five-year survival since the early 1970s. Ten-year age-standardised net survival for myeloma in men has increased from 7% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 37% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 29 percentage points (Figure 3.5).1 In women, ten-year survival has increased from 6% to 28% over the same time period (a difference of 23 percentage points). Overall, a third of people diagnosed with myeloma today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Figure 3.5: Myeloma (C90), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_10yr_myeloma.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (53KB)


Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Myeloma survivors may experience long-term consequences of their disease and side effects of the treatments they receive for it, including peripheral neuropathy, blood clots and gastrointestinal problems.9 Accordingly, as survival improves, supportive care will play an increasingly vital role in myeloma management.

section reviewed 05/12/14
section updated 05/12/14

 

In Europe

The most recent five-year survival data for 1995-1999 show England is slightly below the average for Europe, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are around the European average.10 Across the European countries, five-year survival ranges from 23.1% to 46.7%. However, as with international incidence estimates, differing data collection practices throughout Europe may contribute to the ranking of individual countries.

section reviewed 13/04/12
section updated 13/04/12

 

By socio-economic group

The most recent England-wide data for 2004-2006 showed three-year survival figures were significantly lower in the most deprived areas than in the most affluent (41.1% versus 49.4% for men, 39.6% versus 47.5% for women).11 However, a similar study from Scotland for 1996-2000 did not find any differences in survival by deprivation.12

section reviewed 13/04/12
section updated 13/04/12

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References for myeloma survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. Woods LM, Rachet B, Shack L, et al. Survival from twenty adult cancers in the UK and Republic of Ireland in the late twentieth century. Health Stat Q 2010;(46):5-24.
  5. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
  6. Gay F, Palumbo A. Management of older patients with multiple myeloma. Blood Reviews 2011;25(2):65-73.
  7. Augustson BM, Begum G, Dunn JA, et al. Early Mortality After Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma: Analysis of Patients Entered Onto the United Kingdom Medical Research Council Trials Between 1980 and 2002—Medical Research Council Adult Leukaemia Working Party. J Clin Oncol 2005;23(36):9219-26.
  8. Renshaw C, Ketley N, Møller H, et al. Trends in the incidence and survival of multiple myeloma in South East England 1985-2004. BMC Cancer 2010;10:74.
  9. Snowden JA, Ahmedzai SH, Ashcroft J, et al. Guidelines for supportive care in multiple myeloma 2011. Brit J Haematol 2011;154(1):76-103.
  10. Sant M, Allemani C, Santaquilani M, et al. EUROCARE-4. Survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 1995-1999. Results and commentary. Eur J Cancer 2009;45(6):931-91.
  11. Rachet B, Ellis L, Maringe C, et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in England after the NHS cancer plan. Brit J Cancer 2010;103(4):446-53.
  12. Shack LG, Rachet B, Brewster DH, et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in Scotland 1986–2000. Brit J Cancer 2007;97(7):999-1004.
Updated: 5 December 2014