The overall multiple myeloma survival rate is continually improving due to research advances. While this information can be helpful to physicians when explaining a patient’s prognosis, it must be emphasized that any general survival rate is nothing more than a rough estimate. This is mainly due to the fact that patient outcomes are highly individualized and can be influenced by many variables. For instance, key prognostic factors for multiple myeloma include the number, growth rate, stage and biologic make-up of the tumors, as well as the patient’s age, overall health condition and personal response to therapy.
With that said, it’s understandable that a patient may be interested in learning as much as he or she can about the multiple myeloma survival rate. However, when reviewing statistical outcomes, it’s important to keep in mind that the value of this information is inherently limited because:
- A survival rate is calculated based on patient experiences that occurred in the past. Since the underlying data was collected, groundbreaking discoveries have been made regarding new and better ways to diagnose and treat multiple myeloma. Therefore, all other things being equal, it’s possible that a newly diagnosed patient will experience a better outcome than a patient did several years ago.
- A survival rate is an average of data relating to many patients with widely different circumstances. Because no patient is “average,” the survival rate cannot conclusively determine the prognosis of any one patient. Rather, it is merely a collective account of the past experiences of a large number of myeloma patients.
- A patient can take steps to enhance his or her own outcome. For instance, by promptly consulting with a physician when possible symptoms arise, an individual can help ensure an early diagnosis and prompt treatment. To a certain extent, a patient’s general wellness level can also influence his or her outcome.
Positioned at the forefront of cancer research is Moffitt Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida. The physicians in our Malignant Hematology Program are among the best in the country, and we offer our patients access to advanced treatment options, promising clinical trials and compassionate support every step of the way.
If you’d like to learn more about the multiple myeloma survival rate, the experts at Moffitt can help. To schedule a consultation, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form. No referrals are required.