Eye cancer (melanoma)
The eyes can be affected by several different types of cancer.
Furthermore, cancer can occasionally form in the tissues around your eye or spread to the eye from other body regions, such as the lungs or breasts.
One of the most prevalent types of eye cancer, melanoma
Melanoma is one type of cancer that arises from cells that produce pigment.
The eyeball is most frequently affected by eye melanoma. Depending on which area of your eye is damaged, doctors may refer to it as uveal or choroidal melanoma.
Symptoms of eye cancer
There may be no symptoms or indicators of eye melanoma. Signs and symptoms of eye melanoma can include the following when they do appear:
- An impression of flashes or dust grains in your field of view (floaters)
- A developing iris-based dark spot
- A change in the appearance of the dark circle (pupil) in your eye’s middle
- Vision difficulties or blurriness in one eye
- Reduction in peripheral vision
Causes of eye cancer
The exact cause of eye melanoma is unknown.
Doctors are aware that eye melanoma develops when mistakes arise in the DNA of healthy eye cells. Melanoma of the eye is created when abnormal cells build up in the eye.
Where eye cancer occurs?
Eye melanoma can affect any of the three sections of the uvea:
- The iris
- The choroid layer
- The ciliary body
Although these types of ocular melanoma are uncommon, they can also develop on the conjunctiva, the outermost layer of the eye’s front.
Treating eye melanoma
The size and location of the tumor affect the course of treatment for eye-related melanoma.
The primary therapies for ocular melanoma include:
- Plaques, thin plates lined with radioactive material, are placed close to the tumor and left there for up to a week to destroy cancerous cells.
- External radiotherapy: Using a machine, radiation beams are precisely directed at the tumor to kill malignant cells.
- Surgery to remove the tumor or a portion of the eye may be an option if the cancer is tiny and you can still see out of sight.
- Enucleation, or the removal of the eye, may be required if the tumor is massive or you have lost your ability to see.
Although ocular melanoma is rare, chemotherapy may be an option for other eye cancer.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022