Canadian Statistics for Multiple Myeloma
Canada is one of few countries in the world with a national ‘cancer registry system’ that allows cancer measures to be monitored across the entire population.
The provincial, territorial and national cancer registries are important resources. They provide the raw data necessary for better research, knowledge exchange, planning, and decision-making at all levels.
- 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, they cannot predict exactly what might happen to any specific person. They can be very general in nature, and sometimes too specific.
- They are often just estimates, made with data that may be several years old, and might not reflect the impact of more recent advances in early detection and/or treatments.
- They 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 Statistics 2021, myeloma accounts for 1.9% of total projected new Canadian cancer cases in males and 1.4% in females.
- Projected new myeloma cases and incidence rate: The number of new myeloma cases diagnosed in 2021 were estimated at 3,800 (2,300 males and 1,500 females) – representing an incidence rate of 10.9 in 100,000 for males and 8.4 in 100,000 for females. Approximately 10 people are diagnosed with myeloma each day.
- Annual percent change in myeloma incidence rates (1984-2017): Compared to other cancers, the incidence rate of myeloma in males has increased the most (2.5% per year). It has been increasing in males since 2007 (about 2.5% per year). In females, only melanoma (2.0% per year) has increased more than myeloma (1.6% per year). It has been increasing in females since 2005 (about 1.6% per year).
- Projected myeloma deaths and death rate: The total number of deaths from myeloma in Canada were estimated at 1,620 (930 males and 690 females); the national death rate was 3.5 per 100,000 people (4.5 for males and 2.7 for females).
- Myeloma survival over time (1992-1994 versus 2015-2017): Compared to other cancers, myeloma has had one of the largest increases in survival over time (23 percentage points). The five-year survival for myeloma between 2015–2017 was predicted to be 50% (males and females combined)– meaning that 50% of myeloma cases will survive at least 5 years past diagnosis. The ten-year survival for myeloma between 2015–2017 was predicted to be 30% (males and females combined).
Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2021. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2021.