The survival rate for patients with cancer of the ureter, or transitional cell cancer, depends on how aggressive the cancer is and whether or not it has spread, explains the Urology Care Foundation. Overall survival is close to 85 percent if doctors find the cancer early, reports Florida Hospital.
In patients with stage III cancer that has spread beyond the urinary tract into the muscles and surrounding tissues, the chance of a cure is about 50 percent, according to Florida Hospital. Cancer that persists for two years or more after the initial diagnosis has a long-term survival rate of only 5 percent.
Transitional cell cancer comes back in about 30 percent of patients who have had tumors removed, notes the Urology Care Foundation. The recurrence is usually in the ureter below the original tumor and on the same side. Doctors recommend careful follow-up for several years after the patient completes treatment and yearly after that time.