SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Myeloma

Statistics at a GlanceShow More

At a Glance

  • Estimated New Cases in 2014 24,050
  • % of All New Cancer Cases1.4%
  • Estimated Deaths in 2014 11,090
  • % of All
    Cancer Deaths
    1.9%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

44.9% 2004-2010

Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of myeloma was 6.1 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 3.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2007-2011 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 0.7 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with myeloma at some point during their lifetime, based on 2009-2011 data.

Prevalence of this cancer: In 2011, there were an estimated 83,367 people living with myeloma in the United States.

Survival StatisticsShow More

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Myeloma?

Relative survivalExternal Web Site Policy statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

44.9%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

44.9%

Based on data from SEER 18 2004-2010. Gray figures represent those who have died from myeloma. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Additional Information

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier myeloma is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For myeloma, 4.9% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized myeloma is 66.9%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Myeloma
Percent of Cases by Stage
  • Localized (5%)
    Confined to Primary Site
  • Regional (0%)
    Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
  • Distant (95%)
    Cancer Has Metastasized
  • Unknown (0%)
    Unstaged
5% localized; 0% regional; 95% distant; 0% unknown
5-Year Relative Survival
66.9% localized; 0.0% regional; 43.7% distant; 0.0% unstaged

SEER 18 2004-2010, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

Number of New Cases and DeathsShow More

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, myeloma is relatively rare.

Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2014
Estimated
Deaths 2014
1. Prostate Cancer 233,000 29,480
2. Breast Cancer (Female) 232,670 40,000
3. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 224,210 159,260
4. Colon and Rectum Cancer 136,830 50,310
5. Melanoma of the Skin 76,100 9,710
6. Bladder Cancer 74,690 15,580
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 70,800 18,990
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 63,920 13,860
9. Thyroid Cancer 62,980 1,890
10. Endometrial Cancer 52,630 8,590
- - -
14. Myeloma 24,050 11,090

Myeloma represents 1.4% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

1.4%

In 2014, it is estimated that there will be 24,050 new cases of myeloma and an estimated 11,090 people will die of this disease.

Although a rare disease, myeloma is more common in men than women and among individuals of African American descent. Risk is higher among those with a history of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). The number of new cases of myeloma was 6.1 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2007-2011 cases.

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Myeloma
0.0% under 20; 0.6% 20-34; 3.1% 35-44; 11.4% 45-54; 23.0% 55-64; 27.7% 65-74; 24.7% 75-84; 9.5% 85 and older

Myeloma is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

69

SEER 18 2007-2011, All Races, Both Sexes

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Myeloma
MalesFemales
  • Male 7.7All RacesFemale 4.9
  • Male 7.2WhiteFemale 4.3
  • Male 14.8BlackFemale 10.5
  • Male 4.5Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 3.0
  • Male 4.3American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Female 3.5
  • Male 6.9HispanicFemale 4.7
  • Male 7.8Non-HispanicFemale 4.9

SEER 18 2007-2011, Age-Adjusted

Myeloma is the fourteenth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 3.4 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2007-2011 deaths.

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Myeloma
0.0% under 20; 0.1% 20-34; 1.0% 35-44; 5.8% 45-54; 16.4% 55-64; 26.3% 65-74; 33.1% 75-84; 17.3% 85 and older

The percent of myeloma deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.

Median Age
At Death

75

U.S. 2007-2011, All Races, Both Sexes

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Myeloma
MalesFemales
  • Male 4.3All RacesFemale 2.7
  • Male 4.0WhiteFemale 2.5
  • Male 7.7BlackFemale 5.3
  • Male 2.3Asian /
    Pacific Islander
    Female 1.4
  • Male 3.4American Indian /
    Alaska Native
    Female 2.2
  • Male 3.5HispanicFemale 2.3
  • Male 4.3Non-HispanicFemale 2.7

U.S. 2007-2011, Age-Adjusted

Trends in RatesShow More

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new myeloma cases have been rising on average 0.7% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.3% each year over 2002-2011. 5-year survival trends are shown below the figure.

More About This CancerShow More

Myeloma

A Myeloma cell (abnormal plasma cell) making M proteins. M proteins are antibodies created by a Myeloma cell.
Figure: Myeloma Cells
Click to enlarge.

This type of cancer begins in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). It is also called Kahler disease, myelomatosis, and plasma cell myeloma. Plasma cells are white blood cells that make antibodies. Antibodies are part of the immune system. They work with other parts of the immune system to help protect the body from germs and other harmful substances. Each type of plasma cell makes a different antibody.

Myeloma begins when a plasma cell becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell divides to make copies of itself. These abnormal plasma cells are called myeloma cells.

In time, myeloma cells collect in the bone marrow. They may damage the solid part of the bone. When myeloma cells collect in several of your bones, the disease is called "multiple myeloma." This disease may also harm other tissues and organs, such as the kidneys.

Myeloma cells make antibodies called M proteins and other proteins. These proteins can collect in the blood, urine, and organs.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about myeloma.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Neyman N, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Cho H, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2011, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2011/, based on November 2013 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2014.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Myeloma. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/mulmy.html

This factsheet focuses on population statistics that are based on the US population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer ProfilesExternal Web Site Policy.

The statistics presented in this factsheet are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. This factsheet does not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although it provides links to information in many of these areas.