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The Course of Multiple Myeloma— What to Expect

Being diagnosed with a disease like multiple myeloma can feel overwhelming. Knowing what to expect can help make the process easier:


After diagnosis, your healthcare team will work with you to decide on the treatment that’s best for you. Your doctor may recommend a procedure called a stem cell transplant or may prescribe a medicine to help destroy myeloma cells. You can learn more about treatment options here >


Over time, it’s common for a person with multiple myeloma to go through periods of response to treatment and periods of relapse. Relapse means the body has stopped responding to treatment.


After a relapse, your doctor may consider a new treatment. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available for people with relapsed or refractory disease.

Multiple myeloma is a long-lasting disease and it affects every person differently. Work with your doctors and nurses to learn more about how it may affect you.

The future is hopeful
In the United States, about 30,770 people were diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2018. People with multiple myeloma are living longer than ever before. There is no cure, but many medical advancements have been made over the past decade: in the 1990s, about 3 in 10 patients survived 5 years after being diagnosed. Today, about half of all multiple myeloma patients may expect to survive 5 years or more.

New treatments for multiple myeloma are in development all the time.

Related information

Understanding Multiple Myeloma

Learn about multiple myeloma, a rare type of cancer that affects the blood and bones.

Treatment Options

Read about the different options that are available to treat multiple myeloma.

Treatment After a Stem Cell Transplant

Learn why you may need to keep treating multiple myeloma, even after a stem cell transplant.

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