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Statistics

Canadian statistics for multiple myeloma

Canada is one of the few countries in the world with a cancer registry system that allows cancer patterns to be monitored for the entire population.

The provincial, territorial and national cancer registries are important resources that can be used for research, knowledge exchange, planning and decision-making at all levels.

That said, when looking at this kind of data, it is important to keep in mind that statistics:

  • are very general in nature;
  • are based on large numbers of people with cancer and cannot predict exactly what might happen to any specific person;  
  • can be based on data that may be several years old, and therefore not reflect the impact of more recent advances in early detection or treatment;
  • may not account for additional illnesses, individual responses to treatment, or other causes of death; and
  • can vary widely within each stage of cancer.

According to the 2016 Canadian Cancer Statistics report released by the Canadian Cancer Society, the total new cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed annually in Canada are estimated at 2,750 (1,600 men and 1,150 women), which represents an incidence of 8.7 in 100,000 for men and 5.4 in 100,000 for women.

This corresponds to 1.6% of total new cases of cancer in men and 1.2% of total new cases of cancer in women. 

The total number of deaths from multiple myeloma were estimated at 1,440 (800 men and 640 women).

Understanding incidence and prevalence

INCIDENCE: The number of new cases diagnosed in a year.
MORTALITY: The number of deaths attributed to cancer.
PREVALENCE: The total number of cases of a disease at a specific time.

Prevalence is influenced by both the incidence and the mortality rate. Prevalence increases when survival rates increase, even though incidence remains the same. As multiple myeloma patients live longer, the prevalence increases.

Incidence

Estimated new cases for multiple myeloma by sex and province, Canada, 2016

  Canada BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL
Men 1,600 200 150 40 50 630 390 40 45 10 25
Women 1,150 160 110 35 35 470 270 25 35 5 20
Total 2,750 360 260 75 85 1100 660 65 80 15 45

Estimated age-standardized incidence rates (ASIR) for multiple myeloma by sex and province, Canada, 2016

  Canada BC AB SK MB ON QQ NB NS PE NL
Men 8.7 7.5 8.8 7.3 8.3 9.2 8.9 8.9 8.5 9.7 7.5
Women 5.4 5.4 5.7 5.8 4.8 5.7 5.1 5.5 5.2 6.4 5.4

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 3,105 1,560
Women 3,360 2,505 1,320
Total 7,455 5,615 2,885

Source: Canadian Cancer Society's Advisory Committee on Cancer Statistics, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2016.