Eye Cancer (Melanoma and Lymphoma)

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What Is Eye Cancer? TOPICS

What are the key statistics for eye cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for eye cancer in the United States for 2016 are:

  • 2,810 new cancers (mainly melanomas) of the eye and orbit: 1,510 in men and 1,300 in women
  • 280 deaths from cancers of the eye and orbit: 150 in men and 130 in women

Primary eye cancers can occur at any age, but the risk for most types increases as people get older. The rate of eye melanomas has been fairly stable over the past few decades. Cancers that spread to the eye from another part of the body (secondary eye cancers) are actually more common than primary eye cancers.

Most cancers of the eye and orbit in adults are melanomas, with lymphomas being the next most common. Both of these cancers start more often in other parts of the body. More than 9 out of 10 melanomas start in the skin, while most lymphomas begin in lymph nodes.

For statistics on survival, see “Eye cancer survival rates.”

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

Last Medical Review: 12/09/2014
Last Revised: 02/05/2016