Survival statistics for eye cancer

Survival statistics for eye cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for eye cancer and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, the 5-year net survival for eye cancer is 74%. This means that about 74% of people diagnosed with eye cancer will survive for at least 5 years.

Survival of intraocular melanoma by stage

Survival varies with the stage of intraocular melanoma. Intraocular melanoma tends to grow slowly. Generally, the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

Intraocular melanoma is often very responsive to treatment. There are many effective treatments available for intraocular melanoma.

The 10-year survival rate is the percentage of people who are alive at least 10 years after their cancer diagnosis. But people with this type of cancer may live much longer than 10 years.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages and location of intraocular melanoma. The following information comes from a variety of sources. It may include statistics from other countries that are likely to have similar outcomes as in Canada.

Intraocular melanoma survival by stage


10-year survival















For people with metastatic disease, the median survival is 4.5–17 months. Median survival is the period of time (usually months or years) at which half of the people with cancer are still alive. The other half will live less than this amount of time.

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Expert review and references