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Survival

Survival depends on many different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. It depends on your:

  • type and stage of cancer
  • level of fitness
  • previous treatment

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. 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 with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistics available for melanoma survival by stage.

Survival statistics are available for each stage of melanoma in England. These figures are for men and women diagnosed between 2013 and 2017.

Stage 1

Almost everyone (almost 100%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 2

80 out of 100 people (80%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 3

70 out of 100 people (70%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 4

The Office for National Statistics doesn't provide 5 year survival statistics for stage 4 melanoma. The following statistics are for 1 year survival for people with stage 4 melanoma.

(Please remember, this doesn't mean you will only live 1 year. It relates to the number of people who are still alive 1 year after their diagnosis of cancer. Some of these people will live much longer than 1 year.)

Almost 55 out of 100 people (almost 55%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed.

Survival for all stages of melanoma

Generally for people with melanoma in England:

  • more than 95 out of every 100 people (more than 95%) will survive their melanoma for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • 90 out of every 100 people (90%) will survive their melanoma for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • 90 out of every 100 people (90%) will survive their melanoma for 10 years or more after they are diagnosed

What affects survival

Your outlook depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how deeply it has grown into the skin and whether it has spread.

Survival is better for women than it is for men. We don't know exactly why this is. It may be because women are more likely to see a doctor about their melanoma at an earlier stage.

Age can affect outlook and younger people have a better prognosis than older people.

Your outlook may also be affected by where the melanoma is in the body.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Many people with melanoma live much longer than a year or 5 years.

More statistics

For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for melanoma, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

Last reviewed: 
25 Mar 2020
Next review due: 
25 Mar 2023
  • Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019
    Office for National Statistics

  • National Cancer Intelligence Network. Factors influencing survival from melanoma in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland
    Public Health England, 2015

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