Purpose. To analyse survival from uveal melanoma diagnosed in England and Wales during 1986-1999 and followed up to 2001. Methods. Data from the National Cancer Registry at the Office for National Statistics were analysed. The data were compiled from population-based cancer registries covering all of England and Wales for all adults (aged 15-99) diagnosed with primary ocular malignancy, excluding eyelid tumours. Level of poverty was based on the national classification of area of residence at time of diagnosis. Regression models explored the influence of sex, age and level of poverty on relative survival for patients diagnosed with uveal melanoma during successive calendar periods. Results. Of 5,519 adults identified with primary ocular malignancy, 4,717 had melanoma, of which 4,308 (91%) were eligible for analysis. Two-thirds (67%) of the ocular melanomas were uveal, 5% conjunctival and 2% orbital; the sub-site was unspecified in 26%. Relative survival from uveal melanoma was 95% at one year and 72% at five years. There was no statistically significant variation in one-year or five-year survival by sex or poverty level, and no significant trend over time. Older patients had significantly worse survival (P<0.001). Conclusions. This study provides national population-based survival estimates for England and Wales for uveal melanoma, the most common primary intraocular malignancy in adults. Five-year relative survival, an important indicator of the quality of cancer care, has not improved since the 1980s. Greater age, but not gender or level of poverty, is associated with a poorer prognosis. A standardised classification of uveal melanoma is required to improve reporting to cancer registries. Further research is required to explore reasons for lower relative survival in older persons.The Health Services Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen is supported by a core grant from the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive Health Department
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