There are several different types of eye cancer. The most common form is intraocular melanoma. These often develop in the choroid, a structure in the uvea (the middle part of the eye), but can also begin in the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the ciliary body (the muscles behind the iris that allow you to focus on close or distant objects). Intraocular melanoma can also develop in the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the front of your eyeball).
Other forms of eye cancer include:
- Eyelid cancer
- Orbital cancer
- Intraocular lymphoma
Symptoms of eye cancer generally include vision loss, blurred vision, flashes of light, and spots in your vision, and can also potentially include eye bulging or irritation, a growing dark spot in the iris, a growing lump on the eyelid or eyeball, and changes in the movement or positioning of the eyeball. However, many people with eye cancer may not experience any symptoms and, as a result, may not be aware of their condition until it’s discovered by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing eye cancer. It occurs most commonly in people over the age of 50 (with the exception of retinoblastoma, which is most common in children under five years of age). It’s also more common for people with pale skin complexion, people with light-colored eyes, and people with certain inherited conditions, such as dysplastic nevus syndrome or BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome.
Radiation therapy and surgery are common treatment options for eye cancer. These may be supplemented by additional treatment approaches, such as laser therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that minimizes your risk of vision loss or other potential complications.
The specialists at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Ophthalmology can help you get the care you need to treat your eye cancer effectively, achieve remission, and preserve your vision. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-5900.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.