Myeloma statistics


New cases of myeloma, 2011, UK


Deaths from myeloma, 2012, UK


Survive myeloma for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales


Preventable cases of myeloma, UK

  • Myeloma is the 17th most common cancer in the UK. 
  • Around 4,800 people were diagnosed with myeloma in 2011 in the UK, that’s around 13 people every day. 
  • In 2011, around 2,700 men were diagnosed with myeloma in the UK, making it the 15th most common cancer in men.
  • Myeloma is the 16th most common cancer in women with around 2,100 new cases diagnosed in the UK in 2011.
  • Around 4 out of 10 myeloma cases occur in people aged 75 and over. 
  • Myeloma incidence rates have increased by 11% over the last decade. Improved diagnosis and data recording may largely explain this increase.
  • In Europe, around 39,000 new cases of myeloma were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is ninth highest in Europe for males and eight highest for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 114,000 new cases of myeloma were diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
  • Data for England show that myeloma is almost twice as common in black people as in white and Asian people.
  • Myeloma is preceded by an asymptomatic condition Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). Most people with MGUS do not progress to myeloma. Like myeloma, MGUS is more common in older people, men, and black people.

Read more in-depth myeloma incidence statistics

  • Myeloma is the 16th most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
  • Around 2,700 people (around 1,500 men and around 1,300 women) died of myeloma in 2012 in the UK, that’s more than 7 people every day.
  • Almost 6 out of 10 myeloma deaths occur in people aged 75 and over.
  • Myeloma death rates have fallen slightly in the past decade.
  • In Europe, around 24,300 people were estimated to have died from myeloma in 2012. The UK mortality rate is seventh highest in Europe for males and tenth highest for females.
  • Worldwide, around 80,000 people were estimated to have died from myeloma in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world. 

Read more in-depth myeloma mortality statistics

  • Almost half of myeloma patients in England and Wales now survive their disease for at least five years.
  • Around a third of patients diagnosed with myeloma in England and Wales will survive their disease for at least ten years.
  • Recent advances in myeloma treatment mean survival has improved rapidly. Five-year survival for myeloma has almost quadrupled over the last forty years.
  • Myeloma survival is highest in the youngest men and women – almost 7 in 10 patients diagnosed aged 15-49 survive their disease for at least five years.

Read more in-depth myeloma survival statistics

  • Less than 1% of myeloma cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A person’s risk of developing myeloma depends on many factors, including age,genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Evidence on myeloma risk factors is limited, mainly because this cancer is relatively rare.
  • Certain occupational exposures may relate to higher myeloma risk but evidence is unclear; these would account for less than 1% of myeloma cases in the UK.
  • Ionising radiation, problems with the immune system, and overweight and obesity may relate to higher myeloma risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth myeloma risk factors

The latest statistics available for myeloma in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.

The ICD code Open a glossary item for myeloma (sometimes called multiple  myeloma) is ICD-10 C90.

Incidence data on the myeloma precursor condition monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) are also presented.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, please see our patient information.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Overall, the evidence on myeloma risk factors is limited, mainly because of the relative rarity of this cancer type.


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We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.

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