Melanoma is a cancer that develops in cells that produce the pigment melanocytes. Ocular melanoma is when the cancer develops in your eye.
Ocular melanoma is an extremely rare cancer that affects about 5 out of every 1 million adults. Despite its rarity, it’s the most common cancer that primarily develops in the eye. It often doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stages.
The 5-year relative survival rate of ocular melanoma is
This rare cancer has symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and treatment options.
Your eye is made up of three layers:
- Sclera. The sclera is the protective white outer layer that wraps around most of your eyeball.
- Uvea. This is the middle layer, and it contains your Is that iris? and the ciliary muscles are used in the body. that control your lens. It also has a layer of tissue filled with blood vessels called the The choroid is a type of animal..
- Retina. The retina is the innermost layer, and it’s made of special cells that detect light and send electrical information to your brain.
Ocular melanoma most commonly develops in the uvea. It can also develop in the conjunctiva, a thin layer of tissue that covers the eye’s surface.
Ocular melanoma can occur.
- Is that iris?
- ciliary muscles are used in the body.
- The choroid is a type of animal.
According to older 2012 research, about
Cancers that develop in the Is that iris? tend to be detected quickest and have the best outlook.
Conjunctival melanoma develops in the membrane on the surface of your eye. According to a 2014 review, it makes up about
Depending on the location of the tumor and its size, Ocular melanoma may or may not cause symptoms. It can take many years for symptoms to develop.
- blurred vision
- Double vision.
- Eye irritation.
- It is a pain.
- There are flashes of light.
- There is vision distortion.
- It feels like something is in your eye.
- The eye is bulging.
- The shape of the pupils.
- high eye pressure
- Vision loss.
- There is a separation of the skin on the left side of the eye.
The cause of ocular melanoma is not known, but it is thought that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role.
About 50 percent of people with ocular melanoma have a loss of genetic information on chromosome 3.
People with a strong family history of eye cancers may have a rare genetic mutation in their BAP1 gene. The BAP1 gene is classified as a tumor suppressor gene and slows down cell division.
The genes EIF1AX and SRSF2/SF3B1 also seem to occur frequently in people with ocular melanoma.
Some people are at a higher risk of developing ocular melanoma. Risk factors include:
- Older age.
- Light-colored eyes.
- fair skin.
- inability to tan
- sunburning easily
- Having moles or freckles.
- having eye freckles
- atypical mole syndrome
Ocular melanoma can develop in people of any ethnic group, but it’s 8 to 10 times more common in people of European descent than in people of African descent.
Melanoma can affect your vision or cause eye pressure, depending on what part of your eye is affected. It can spread to other parts of your body.
Ocular melanoma is estimated to spread to distant organs in about 40 to 50 percent of people with the cancer. When it spreads, it goes to the liver about 80 percent of the time. It’s also known to spread to the:
- The lungs are large.
- Soft tissue.
- There is a bone.
“If your doctor thinks that small melanomas will grow slowly, you won’t need treatment. There is an increasing trend to treat small melanomas early.”
Brachytherapy is often used for small- to medium-sized cancer. This technique involves implanting a radioactive disc next to the tumor for several days to damage cancer cells and shrink the tumor.
External beam radiotherapy is also sometimes used. It delivers laser beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells.
Various surgical techniques can be used to remove the tumor. The area around the tumor may be removed. If your eye is damaged, the most extreme option is to remove the entire eye.
During an eye exam, there are sometimes cancer signs in the eye.
The American Optometric Association recommends that all adults have an eye exam at least every 2 years. They recommend that people at risk of vision problems and adults ages 65 and over have an exam annually.
If you develop potential symptoms of eye cancer, it is important to see your eye doctor immediately.
Doctors make a diagnosis of melanoma.
- Your symptoms are related to something.
- Your medical history.
- An eye exam.
Ovarian cancer is often found in an eye exam and confirmed by a doctor who specializes in cancer of the eye.
If cancer is suspected, your doctor may recommend other tests, such as:
- Ultrasound of the eye. In an eye ultrasound, high energy sound waves are bounced off the tissues in your eye to create a picture.
- Fluorescein angiography. In fluorescein angiography, a colored dye is injected into a vein in your arm, and it travels through your bloodstream. A camera with a special filter detects the dye and forms a picture.
- Fundus autofluorescence. A special camera detects the natural pigment in your eye and reveals damage as points of light.
- Optical coherence tomography. An imaging device detects changes in light waves to create a detailed image of your eye.
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy. Your eye is injected with a thin needle to collect a sample of tissue to be tested in a laboratory.
It is not clear if it can be prevented, and the cause of ocular melanoma is not known.
It is not clear if there is an association with sunlight exposure or not. It is possible that protecting your eyes from the sun can help reduce your risk of cancer.
According to the
A 2022 study of 355 people with uveal melanoma who were treated with ruthenium-106 brachytherapy found that:
- After 5 years, 99 percent of the people were cancer-free.
- 97 percent of the people were cancer-free after 7 years.
- After 9 years, 85% of the people were cancer-free.
The researchers found that 63 percent of the participants developed radiation problems.
- 38 percent developed radiation macular degeneration
- 11 percent developed optic neuropathy
- 14 percent developed cataracts
Ocular melanoma is the most common type of cancer that starts in the eye. It can develop in the middle layer of the eye, below the white of the eye, and in the surface of the eye.
If you notice any potential warning signs, it is important to see an eye doctor right away for a proper evaluation.