Myeloma statistics


New cases of myeloma, 2012, UK


Deaths from myeloma, 2012, UK


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


Preventable cases of myeloma, UK

  • There were around 4,900 new cases of myeloma in the UK in 2012, that’s around 14 people every day.
  • Myeloma is the 17th most common cancer in the UK (2012).
  • Myeloma accounts for 1% of all new cases in the UK (2012). 
  • In males, myeloma is the 15th most common cancer in the UK, with around 2,800 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • In females, myeloma is the 18th most common cancer in the UK, with around 2,200 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • More than 4 in 10 (43%) of cases of myeloma are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.
  • Since the late-1970s, myeloma incidence rates have increased by almost three-fifths (58%) in Great Britain.
  • Over the last decade, myeloma incidence rates have increased by a tenth (10%) in the UK.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.
  • 1 in 115 men and 1 in 155 women will be diagnosed with myeloma during their lifetime.
  • 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

  • A third (33%) of people diagnosed with myeloma in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost half (47%) of people diagnosed with myeloma in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • More than three-quarters (77%) of people diagnosed with myeloma in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Myeloma survival is higher in men than women.
  • Myeloma survival is highest for people diagnosed aged under 50 years old.
  • Around 7 in 10 people diagnosed aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than a fifth of people diagnosed aged 80 and over.
  • Myeloma survival is improving and has quadrupled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, around 5 in 100 people diagnosed with myeloma survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's a third.

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

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

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

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

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.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2006-2010.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Myeloma is part of the group 'Haematological cancers' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Hodgkin lymphoma, follicular and non-follicular lymphoma, mature T/NK-cell lymphoma, other and unspecified types of NHL, other and unspecified types of T/NK-cell lymphoma, malignant immunoproliferative diseases, myeloma, lymphoid, myeloid and monocytic leukaemia, some other leukaemia of specific or unspecified cell type, and other and unspecified malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.


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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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