Survival depends on many different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. It depends on your:
- type and stage of cancer
- level of fitness
- previous treatment
These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.
Survival statistics for myeloma
The following statistics are for people diagnosed with all stages of myeloma.
Generally for people with myeloma in England:
- more than 80 out of every 100 (more than 80%) will survive their myeloma for a year or more after diagnosis
- about 50 out of every 100 (about 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
Statistics provided by the Cancer Intelligence team at Cancer Research UK.
These statistics are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than cancer. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival.
These statistics are from the Office for National Statistics, for england only, ages 15-99 for 2013-2017.
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.
For more information about survival and other statistics about myeloma, go to our Cancer Statistics section.