Is Multiple Myeloma Curable?

Ask the experts

My doctor recently diagnosed me with multiple myeloma. Is bone cancer curable?

Doctor's response

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. Multiple myeloma is a focus of active ongoing research. The median survival rate, beginning at the point of first treatment according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), according to stage of the disease is as follows:

  • Stage I, 62 months
  • Stage II, 44 months
  • Stage III, 29 months

However, the ACS suggests that with treatment improvements, current survival rates are likely better. Unfortunately, life expectancy after relapse averages about nine months.

Complications of multiple myeloma may include kidney insufficiency, bleeding disorders, bone problems like pathological fractures, hypercalcemia, and neurological problems (for example, spinal cord compression, intracranial plasmacytomas, and others).

For more information on multiple myeloma, read our full medical article on multiple myeloma symptoms, causes, and treatment

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Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2017
References
"Treatment of the complications of multiple myeloma"
UpToDate.com
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