Thanks to new, more effective drug therapies introduced for myeloma in recent years, the chance of remission has increased and extended remissions are more common. It's not uncommon for patients to live 10 years or more. Progress toward a cure is expected to continue as researchers study new therapies and patients take part in clinical trials.
Relative Survival Rate
Relative survival compares (1) how long a person with a disease survives after being diagnosed to (2) how long a person without the disease lives. Survival statistics for myeloma are usually reported as five-year survival rates:
- The overall five-year survival rate has increased from 12 percent in 1960-1963 (for whites) to 42.6 percent from 2002 to 2008 (for all races and ethnicities).
- The five-year relative survival rate for white males (44.9 percent) increased the most.
- The three-year survival rate as of January 2009 was nearly 57.1 percent.
- An estimated 10,710 people will die from myeloma in 2012.
Treatment results and outcomes vary among patients. Recent improvements in treatment and care may not be reflected in these rates. Newer treatment therapies, progress in stem cell transplantation, better supportive care and studies of new drugs in clinical trials are all contributing to improved outcomes and quality of life for people diagnosed with blood cancers.
Source: SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009, National Cancer Institute, 2012.