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Statistics

Canadian Statistics for Multiple Myeloma

Canada is one of few countries in the world with a national ‘cancer registry system’ which allows cancer measures to be monitored across the entire population.

The provincial, territorial and national cancer registries are important resources, especially providing raw data necessary for better research, knowledge exchange, planning, and decision-making at all levels, with the goal of advancing both our ability to treat multiple myeloma and our understanding of it.

That said, when looking at this kind of data it is important to keep in mind that, because statistics/rates (like incidence, prevalence, 5-year survival, average annual percent change) are based on large numbers of people with cancer and cannot predict exactly what might happen to any specific person….

  • They can be very general in nature, and sometimes too specific;
  • Are often just estimates, made using data that may be already several years old, and might not reflect the impact of more recent advances in early detection and/or treatments;
  • Experiences with myeloma vary widely between each stage of cancer, and patient age at diagnosis;
  • May not account for the impact of other factors such as additional illnesses or causes of death, individual responses to treatments, and especially, that of the COVID-19 pandemic

According to the Canadian Cancer Society’s most recent reports, the total number of new multiple myeloma cases diagnosed in 2020 are estimated at 3,400 (2,000 males and 1,450 females) which represents an age standardized incidence rate of 4.6 in 100,000 for males and 2.9 in 100,000 for females. (Canadian Cancer Society 2019 Report; 2020 updated statistics)

This corresponds to 1.7% of total new Canadian cases of cancer in males and 1.3% of total new cases of cancer in females. (Canadian Cancer Society 2019 Report)

In 2020, the total number of deaths from multiple myeloma in Canada were estimated at 1,600 (880 males and 700 females), and the national mortality rate was 1.7 per 100,000 people; 2.1 for males and 1.3 for females.  

The five-year survival rate for myeloma patients has increased 23 percentage points since the early 1990s, to an average of 47% for the years 2017-2020—

–meaning around 50% of patients with myeloma will survive at least 5 years past their diagnosis. (Cancer survival statistics, 2020 update; Statistics Canada)

 

Incidence

Estimated new cases for multiple myeloma by sex and province, Canada, 2020

  Canada BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL
Men 2,000 210 190 55 55 860 510 40 50 10 20
Women 1,430 170 110 35 40 630 350 35 35 5 20
Total 3,430 380 300 90 95 1490 860 75 85 15 40

Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (ASIR) for multiple myeloma by sex and province, Canada, 2020

  Canada BC AB SK MB ON QQ NB NS PE NL
Men 4.6 7.4 9.5 9.2 8.3 11.2 --- 8.2 8.2 10.4 5.6
Women 2.9 5.2 5.1 5.3 5.2 6.9 --- 6 4.9 6.1 5.5

Prevalence

Prevalence of multiple myeloma by time since diagnosis and sex, Canada, January 1, 2009

  10-year
(Diagnosed since 1999)

5-year
(Diagnosed since 2004)

2-year
(Diagnosed since 2007)

Men 4,100 3,110 1,560
Women 3,360 2,510 1,320
Total 7,460 5,615 2,885

Average annual percent change in prevalence of multiple myeloma by time since diagnosis and sex, Canada, March, 2012 

 

10-year
1994-2008

5-year
1997-2008

2-year
2002-2008

Males

2.9

4.1

4.7

Females

2.2

2.9

3.7

All 2.6 3.6 4

 

Source: Canadian Cancer Society's Advisory Committee on Cancer Statistics, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2019.

*These are crude rates & show the actual sum of all cases/deaths