Retinoblastoma - Childhood - Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many children are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

An estimated 200 to 300 children in the United States will be diagnosed annually with retinoblastoma. Most children who are diagnosed with retinoblastoma are younger than 5 years old. Retinoblastoma makes up 2% of all cancers diagnosed in children before the age of 15. Generally, 3 out of 4 children have the disease in one eye, while 1 in 4 children have the disease in both eyes.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of children live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for children with retinoblastoma is 97%. However, that rate depends on several factors, including whether the cancer has spread from the eye to other parts of the body.

It is important to remember that statistics on how many children survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on children with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your child’s risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long any child will live with retinoblastoma. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts and Figures 2016, and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.