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Survival

Read about surival statistics for myeloma, and what affects your survival. 

Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival statistics for myeloma

The following statistics are for people diagnosed with all stages of myeloma. 

Generally for people with myeloma in England and Wales:

  • more than 75 out of every 100 (more than 75%) will survive their myeloma for a year or more after diagnosis
  • almost 50 out of every 100 (almost 50%) will survive their myeloma for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • almost 35 out of every 100 (almost 35%) will survive their myeloma for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of your myeloma when it is diagnosed. This means how advanced it is. The doctors do blood, urine and bone marrow tests to find out what stage your myeloma is.

Another important factor is your age and fitness, and the type of treatment you have. Doctors call how well you are your performance status. There are some very intensive treatments available for myeloma and to have them you need to be well enough to get through them. 

It is a good sign if your myeloma responds well to treatment and goes into complete remission. Remission means that there is no physical sign of your disease and no longer any abnormal immunoglobulin in your blood or urine. Remission can last for months or years, but unfortunately the myeloma is likely to come back eventually and will then need further treatment.

Myeloma can be variable in how it behaves. In some people, it develops very slowly and so the outlook will be better. It is best to discuss this with your own specialist. It may be a while before your doctors can say how your myeloma is likely to behave. 

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

More statistcs

For more information about survival and other statistics about myeloma, go to our Cancer Statistics section

Information and help

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