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What is the prognosis for multiple myeloma?
The prognosis of multiple myeloma is variable, depending on the approximate stage and response to therapy. Though there is no cure for the disease, today's treatments are more effective and less toxic (have fewer side effects) than did many in the past. Life expectancy or survival ranges from about
one to 10 years, with median survival of about three years with the five-year relative survival rate of 46.6%. Survival is higher in young people and lower in the elderly. Complications include early death due to infections (meningitis, septicemia, pneumonia), anemia, kidney failure, and a depressed immune system. Currently, multiple myeloma is considered to be a disease that is not preventable. Multiple myeloma is not a hereditary disease. Multiple myeloma is a focus of active ongoing research.