Cancer of the eye is the only ocular disease which directly threatens life. The average annual incidence rate (new cases) in the U. S. is about 1/100,000 population and the estimated prevalence rate (total cases) is about 12/100,000 population. With few exceptions, eye cancer occurs more frequently in whites than in blacks and more often in older than in younger people. The survival rate for persons with localized ocular tumors receiving early treatment is almost 80%. This statistic indicates the importance of optometric detection of this uncommon disease. © 1977 American Academy of Optometry.