Eye Cancer Symptoms And Available Treatments
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Eye Cancer Symptoms And Treatments

Sep 07 2017

Eye Cancer Symptoms And Treatments

Eye Cancer will kill an estimated 3,130 adults in the United States this year.

When healthy cells in your eye change and grow too quickly in a disorganized way, they can form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Eye cancer that originates in the eye is called intraocular cancer and if it spreads from another area it’s called secondary eye cancer.

Most new cases of primary intraocular cancer are melanoma. Although the number of new diagnoses and deaths from skin melanoma has been increasing during the past 30 years, the number of new intraocular melanoma cases has remained constant during this time. Lymphoma is the second most common type of primary intraocular cancer.

It is estimated that 330 deaths (180 men and 150 women) from primary intraocular cancer will occur this year.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for people with eye cancer is 80%. If the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 85%. Approximately 73% of people are diagnosed at this stage. However, survival rates depends on the size and location of the tumor and the type of cancer diagnosed.

Overall, 3 out of 4 people with eye melanoma survive for at least 5 years. When melanoma does not spread outside the eye, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 80%. If the melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 15%.

Eye Cancer Symptoms

The most common sign of eye cancer is a change in your vision. You may not be able to see well, or you might see flashes of light or spots (floaters). You also may notice a new dark spot in one eye or a change in its size or shape. But eye cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms early on, and these things can happen for many other reasons.

eye cancer

eye cancer

eye cancer

 

eye cancer

Uveal Melanoma

This is the most common form of primary eye cancer. It happens when cells form a tumor in a part of your eye called the uvea. It has three parts: the colored part of your eye called the iris, the ciliary body (it makes fluid and helps you focus), and the choroid layer that supplies blood to your eye. This layer is where the cells usually start to change and become cancerous.

Most new cases of primary intraocular cancer are melanoma. Although the number of new diagnoses and deaths from skin melanoma has been increasing during the past 30 years, the number of new intraocular melanoma cases has remained constant during this time. Lymphoma is the second most common type of primary intraocular cancer.

Approximately 330 deaths from primary intraocular cancer will occur this year.

The 5-year survival rate for people with eye cancer is 80%. Most importantly, early diagnosis increases survival rates to 85%, with this early detection occurring in 73% of people tested. However, survival rates also depends on the size and location of the tumor and the type of cancer diagnosed.

Overall, 3 out of 4 people with eye melanoma survive for at least 5 years. When melanoma does not spread outside the eye, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 80%. If the melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 15%.

Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma occurs primarily in children before the age of 5.   As the baby grows, cells called retinoblasts grow out of control and form a tumor.

eye cancer

 

Conjunctival Melanoma

This rare kind of cancer happens when a tumor grows inside that lining and looks like dark spots on your eye. It will spread quickly through your lymph nodes if not detected early.

eye cancer

 

Gland Eye Cancer

This rare type of cancer starts when a tumor forms in the glands that make tears. These tumors tend to happen more often in people who are in their 30s.

eye cancer

Eye Cancer: Eyelids

This type of skin cancer shows up on or inside your eyelid. This is due to spending excessive  time in the sun. People who have fair or pale skin are more likely to have it. If found early, treatment is successful.

eyelid carcinoma close up

Secondary Eye Cancer

In most cases, cancer doesn’t start in the eye, instead it can first spread from the breast or lungs. It also can go to your eyes from your skin, kidney, colon, or  thyroid.

secondary eye cancer diptych

 

Diagnostics

Doctors will use biopsy, MRI’s, CAT scans, and positron emission tomography (PET scan) to determine the type and stage of eye cancer.

Treatments

Treatments available are surgery, radiation, and laser therapy.

 

Conclusion

Keep an eye on your eyes. If you note any unusual changes in coloration, shape, or vision, call your eye doctor immediately.

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Barry G
barry@skycaremedia.com

Barry graduated from City University of New York and holds a Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology.

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