Skin cancer survival statistics

Survival

Survive melanoma skin cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Age

Age that malignant melanoma survival is highest, 2009-2013, England

 

Improvement

Malignant melanoma survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years

 

97% of men survive malignant melanoma for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 88% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma during 2010-2011 in England and Wales.[1] Survival for women is slightly higher, with 98% surviving for one year or more, and 92% predicted to survive for at least five years. 

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Age-Standardised Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 96.5 87.6 86.0
95% LCL 96.5 87.5 86.0
95% UCL 96.5 87.6 86.0
Women Net Survival 97.9 92.4 92.1
95% LCL 97.9 92.4 92.1
95% UCL 97.9 92.4 92.1
Adults Net Survival 97.3 90.4 89.5
95% LCL 97.3 90.4 89.5
95% UCL 97.3 90.4 89.5

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item

Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Malignant melanoma survival falls only slightly beyond five years after diagnosis for men, and does not continue to fall beyond five years for women, which means most patients can be considered cured after five years. 86% of men and 92% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma during 2010-2011 in England and Wales.[1] Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for malignant melanoma ranks 2nd highest overall.

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

Survival for malignant melanoma is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,[2,3] though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses.

References

  1. Data were provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on request, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
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Five-year survival for malignant melanoma generally decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 91% in 15-39 year-olds to 82% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with malignant melanoma in England during 2009-2013.[1] In women, five-year survival ranges from 97% to 84% in the same age groups.

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England 2009-2013

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As with most cancers, survival for malignant melanoma is improving. One-year age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for malignant melanoma in men has increased from 75% during 1971-1972 to 97% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference Open a glossary item of 22 percentage points.[1] In women, one-year survival has increased from 87% to 98% over the same time period (a difference of 11 percentage points). Part of the increase in both sexes will be due to increased awareness and earlier diagnosis of the disease as a result of public heath campaigns such as SunSmart; likewise, several studies have reported increasing proportions of thin, early stage tumours in recent years.[2-4]

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Five- and ten-year survival has increased by an even greater amount than one-year survival since the early 1970s. Five-year age-standardised net survival for malignant melanoma in men has increased from 40% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 88% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 47 percentage points.[1] In women, five-year survival has increased from 61% to 92% over the same time period (a difference of 32 percentage points).

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year age-standardised net survival for malignant melanoma in men has increased from 35% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 86% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 51 percentage points.[1] In women, ten-year survival has increased from 55% to 92% over the same time period (a difference of 38 percentage points). Overall, 9 in 10 people diagnosed with malignant melanoma today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

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Survival for melanoma skin cancer is strongly related to stage of the disease at diagnosis.

One-year net survival for melanoma skin cancer is highest for patients diagnosed at stage I, and lowest for those diagnosed at stage IV, 2014 data for England show.[1] 101% of patients diagnosed at stage I survived their disease for at least one year, versus 50% patients diagnosed at stage IV. 

One-year net survival for unknown stage melanoma skin cancer is 93%. Lack of staging information may in some cases reflect advanced stage at diagnosis: for example very unwell patients may not undergo staging tests if the invasiveness of the testing outweighs the potential benefit of obtaining stage information.[1

Melanoma Skin (C43), One-Year Age Standardised Net Survival by Stage, Adults (Ages 15-99 Years), England 2014​

One-year net survival is similar between males and females at all stages.

Net survival can be greater than 100% because it accounts for background mortality. Net survival greater than 100% indicates that patients in this group have a better chance of surviving one year after diagnosis compared with the general population.

Five-year survival for melanoma skin cancer shows a much more gradual decrease in survival between Stages I and IV. In men, five-year relative survival ranges from more than 100% at Stage I to 8% at Stage IV for patients diagnosed during 2002-2006 in the former Anglia Cancer Network.[2] In women, five-year survival ranges from 100% at Stage I to 25% at Stage IV.

Melanoma Skin (C43), Five-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Adults (Aged 15-99 Years), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006

Relative survival can be greater than 100% because it accounts for background mortality and means that people diagnosed have a better chance of surviving after diagnosis than the general population.

There are no significant differences between men and women at any of the stages for both one- and five-year relative survival for melanoma skin cancer.

References

  1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2016
  2. Data were provided by The National Cancer Registration Service, Eastern Office on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ncras.nhs.uk/ncrs-east/

About this data

Data is for: England, 2014 (one-year), Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006 (five-year), ICD-10 C43

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

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Five-year relative survival for melanoma skin cancer in men in England (81%) is above the average for Europe (79%). Scotland (84%) and Northern Ireland (86%) are also above the European average but Wales (74%) is below the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in men ranges from 41% (Bulgaria) to 89% (Switzerland).[1]

Five-year relative survival for melanoma skin cancer in women in England (89%) is above the average for Europe (87%). Scotland (92%) and Northern Ireland (95%) are also above the European average but Wales (85%) is below the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in women ranges from 59% (Bulgaria) to 95% (Northern Ireland).[1]

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C44.0-C44.9), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival, Adults (Aged 15+), European Countries, 2000-2007

Data consists of both observed and predicted 5-year relative survival. Where sufficient follow-up was not available for recently diagnosed patients the period approach was used to predict 5-year cohort survival.

Possible explanations for persistent international differences in survival include differences in cancer biology, use of diagnostic tests and screening, stage at diagnosis, access to high-quality care, and data collection practices.[1]

References

  1. De Angelis R, Sant M, Coleman MP, et al. Cancer survival in Europe 1999-2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5 – a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2014;15:23-34

About this data

Data is for: 29 European countries, patients diagnosed in 2000-2007 and followed up to 2008, melanoma of skin (C44.0-C44.9).

Last reviewed:

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See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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