Eye Cancer (Eye Melanoma): Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment.

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Symptoms | Causes | Factors | Treatment

Symptoms | Causes | Diagnosis | TreatmentEye Cancer (Eye Melanoma)

Introduction to Eye CancerMelanoma is a cancer form which grows in the cells that make melanin- the pigment that gives your skin its color. Though melanoma typically affects the skin, it can also spread to the eye. Eye melanoma is also known as ocular melanoma.Melanomais the most common type of eye tumor in adults however, melanoma of the eye alone is rare.

Eye melanoma is difficult to identify because it forms in the part of the eye you can't see when looking in a mirror. Moreover, thistype of cancertypically doesn't cause early signs or symptoms.

Symptoms of Eye CancerEye melanoma may not show signs and symptoms at the beginning. But when they appear, they may include:

A growingdark spot on the irisA sensation of flashing lightsA change in the shape of the dark circle (pupil) at the center of your eyePoor orblurry vision in one eyeLoss of peripheral visionSensation of flashes and specs of dust in your vision (floaters)Bulging eyes

Causes of Eye CancerIt's not clear what causes eye melanoma, also called ocular melanoma. Doctors know that eye melanoma occurs when errors develop in the DNA of healthy eye cells. The DNA errors tell the cells to grow and multiply out of control, so the mutated cells go on living when they would normally die. The mutated cells accumulate in the eye and form an eye melanoma.

Diagnosis of Eye CancerEye examination:Your eye doctor will examine the outside of your eye looking for enlarged blood vessels that can specify a tumor inside your eye. With the help of instruments, he/she will look inside your eye.Eye ultrasound:Aneye ultrasounduses high-frequency sound waves from a transducer to produce images of your eye.Angiogram:It is a procedure where a colored dye is injected into a vein in your arm. The dye travels to the blood vessels in your eye. A camera with special filters to detect the dye takes pictures every few seconds.Removing a sample of suspicious tissue for testing:In some cases, your eye doctor may propose a procedure to remove a sample of tissue (biopsy) from your eye.

Treatment of Eye CancerTreatment for malignant melanoma of the eye will depend on the specific type of tumor that you have. If the tumor is small and is not growing rapidly, your eye specialist may not recommend treatment. However, he/she will keep an eye on the growth of the tumor. If your tumor is large or has the potential to spread, your doctor may recommend more belligerent treatment. There are several options:

Surgery to remove the eyeRadiation therapy to kill the cancer cells inside the eyeLaser therapyExtreme cold may be used to destroy melanoma cells in some small eye melanomas

Preventions of Eye CancerWe know there is a link between sunlight and melanomas of the skin, and there are things you can do that might reduce your risk of these cancers, including limiting your exposure to intense sunlight, covering up with protective hats and clothing, and using sunscreen. Wearing UV-protected sunglasses when outside in strong sunlight. Wrap-around sunglasses with 99% to 100% UVA and UVB absorption provide the best protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin. This might help reduce the risk of developing cancers of the skin around the eyes. The link between sunlight and eye melanomas is not proven, but some doctors think that sunglasses might also reduce eye melanoma risk.

Complications of Eye CancerVision loss. Large eye melanomas often cause vision loss in the affected eye and can cause complications, such as retinal detachment, that also cause vision loss.Increasing pressure within the eye (glaucoma)Eye melanoma that spreads beyond the eye.

Risk Factors of Eye CancerLight eye color. People with blue eyes or green eyes have a greater risk of melanoma of the eye.Being white. White people have a greater risk of eye melanoma than do people of other races.Increasing age. The risk of eye melanoma increases with age.Certain inherited skin disorders. A condition called dysplastic nevus syndrome, which causes abnormal moles, may increase your risk of developing melanoma on your skin and in yourExposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. There's some evidence that exposure to UV light, such as light from the sun or from tanning beds, may increase the risk of eye melanoma.

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