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Survival

Survival depends on many factors, so no one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness.

Statistics for eye cancer are harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.

Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival for all stages and types of eye cancer

There are no UK-wide statistics available for different types and stages of eye cancer. The type of cancer refers to the type of cell that it starts in. The stage of eye cancer depends on how big the cancer is and if it has spread.

Eye cancer is rare and so the figures available are for all eye cancers in England.

Generally for people with eye cancer in England:

  • 95 out of every 100 (95%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • 70 out of every 100  (70%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • 60 out of every 100 (60%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on a number of factors including:

  • the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed
  • the type of eye cancer
  • which parts of the eye are involved

Sometimes doctors can test for changes in the chromosomes of an eye melanoma that give an idea about how the cancer will behave and how likely it is to spread.

It is important to see your doctor if you have symptoms. Your treatment is is more likely to be successful if your cancer is diagnosed early.

About these statistics

5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of cancer. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve treatments for eye cancer. We have detailed information about clinical trials on this website.

More statistics

Last reviewed: 
29 Jun 2018
  • Eye cancer survival statistics
    Cancer Research UK
    Accessed June 2018

  • Uveal melanoma.
    V Papastefanou and V Cohen.
    Journal of Skin Cancer, 2011. Volume 2011, article 573974, pages 1 to 14

  • Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology (Cancer: Principles & Practice (10th Revised edition)
    VT DeVita (Ed) and TS Lawrence (Ed) 
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2014

Information and help