Will My Eye Cancer Spread?

You can learn your risk with precision

For uveal melanoma patients and their loved ones, one of the big questions is will the eye cancer spread,  or metastasize, to other parts of the body. While your doctor will explain that there is a 50% chance that it will not, you need to decide if you’d like to know the answer with far more precision.
Several factors have been historically associated with higher risk of metastasis including large tumor size, location, orange pigment overlying the tumor, and older age.

This chart shows the percentage of the uveal melanoma patient population in each category of metastatic risk.

Breakdown of uveal melanoma population by Class

The understanding has been that large tumors typically are at higher risk, and small tumors are predictive of better survival. However, that is not always the case. In recent years, prognostic tests have been developed to more accurately assess a malignant eye tumor’s biology and likelihood of spreading.

The newest and most widely used test, DecisionDx-UM, makes it possible to learn your prognosis with the highest degree of accuracy available.  The test predicts statistical rates of survival over five years, the period for which scientific data has been collected. These include:

  • Class 1A:  with a 2% risk of metastasis;
  • Class 1B:  with a 21% potential to metastasize; and
  • Class 2:  with a 72% risk of spreading over the next five years.

This information can be incredibly valuable in helping you and your doctor determine your monitoring and management plan.  Many patients report other benefits: Some say knowing the likely course of their disease makes it easier to cope. Others say it helps them make important life-planning decisions (see patient stories).

Know your TYPE, Know your RISK
You’ve just been diagnosed with uveal melanoma, and it’s important to know that there is a test that can identify your tumor type—and the risk of your cancer spreading.

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GETTING TESTED       Timing is Critical
To know your tumor type and risk, a biopsy must be taken BEFORE radiation treatment.

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Talk to                 Your Doctor
Use this discussion guide to talk to your doctor about the genomic test to learn your tumor type, or CLASS.

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