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Does Anyone Survive Multiple Myeloma & What Does The Survival Rate Depend On?

Multiple myeloma refers to the cancer formed in a specific type of white blood cell i.e. plasma cell. Plasma cells are helpful in fighting infections by making certain antibodies to recognize as well as attack germs. Multiple myeloma forces cancer cells to accumulate in the patients’ bone marrow, where they crowd out various healthy blood cells. Instead of producing helpful antibodies, cancer cells produce different types of abnormal protein components, which cause complications.

Does Anyone Survive Multiple Myeloma?

Survival rate of multiple myeloma patients has shown drastic improvement during the last few decades. However, the overall median associated with survival of patients across the world is inferior with only 5 years period. Small proportion of individuals suffering from multiple myeloma survived for more than 10 years. However, even though a few patients may live up to 10 years or even more number of years, they often require frequent treatments and experience various complications. Especially, more than 90 percent of patients require novel drugs and autologous-based stem cell transplantation technique. (1)

What Does The Survival Rate Depend On?

Multiple myeloma survival rate also depend on other factors:

Survival rate of multiple myeloma patients also depend on previous outcomes of many people died because of multiple myeloma disease. However, patients cannot predict what exactly will take place in their cases specifically. Considering this fact, you have to consider various limitations, as we have discussed here.

  • To achieve 5-year of survival rate in case of multiple myeloma, doctors have to check the patients, who underwent with the required treatment procedure before 5 years. As treatments improve with time, people diagnosed with multiple myeloma disease have better outlook as compared to the statistics available few years ago. (2)
  • Statistics related to the survival of multiple myeloma disease depend on the initial diagnose of the cancer. They are not applicable for multiple myeloma cancers or any other types of cancers, which later spread or come back. (3)
  • Outlook for patients suffering from multiple myeloma may vary according to their stages or extents of the cancer.
  • Survival rates related to multiple myeloma disease are high for all individuals in their early stage of cancers. However, other factors also affect the outlook of a person, which include overall health and age, along with the way, in which cancer will respond to the treatment. In other words, outlook for each individual remains specific to his/her circumstances.

Complications Of Multiple Myeloma Disease

Multiple myeloma comes with following major complications-

  • Myeloma cells inhibit the ability of individuals’ body to fight with infections.
  • Multiple myeloma disease affects the bones, which results in thinning bones, bone pain and broken bones.
  • Multiple myeloma causes problems related to kidney functions, along with kidney failure. Higher levels of calcium present in the blood associated with eroding bones may interfere with the ability of kidneys to filter the waste from your blood.
  • As myeloma cells crowd regular blood cells, multiple myeloma causes anemia and various other related blood problems. (4)

Signs And Symptoms Of Multiple Myeloma

Signs and symptoms related to multiple myeloma may vary and during the initial stage, you will not find any symptom. However, when signs and symptoms take place, they include-


To conclude, we should say that the survival rate associated with multiple myeloma in general is about 5 years.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4302619/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5283695/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5596206/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17996596

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 9, 2021

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