What is the prevalence of multiple myeloma (MM)?

Updated: Aug 18, 2020
  • Author: Dhaval Shah, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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MM accounts for 10% of all hematologic cancers. [18, 19]  The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States, approximately 32,270 new cases of MM (17,530 in men and 14,740 in women) will be diagnosed in 2020. [14] The lifetime risk of getting MM is approximately one in 125 (0.8%). [20] Approximately 12,830 deaths from MM (7,190 in men and 5,640 in women) are expected to occur in 2020. [14]  Rates for new MM cases have not changed significantly over the last decade, while death rates fell from 3.49 to 3.24 per 100,000 from 2006 to 2016. [20]

In the US, the annual incidence of MM per 100,000 persons is 8.1 cases in white men, 4.9 cases in white women, 16.3 cases in black men, and 11.9 cases in black women. For Hispanics, the rates are 8.2 in men and 5.5 in women. Rates are lowest for Asians/Pacific Islanders, at 4.9 in men and 3.0 in women. [20]  According to a study of the ethnic disparities among patients with MM, Hispanics had the youngest median age at diagnosis (65 years) and whites had the oldest (71 years). Asians had the best overall survival rates, while Hispanics had the worst. [21]

The median age of patients with MM is 68 years for men and 70 years for women. Only 18% of patients are younger than 50 years, and only 3% of patients are younger than 40 years. The male-to-female ratio in MM is approximately 3:2.

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