Cancer of the Eye, Rare but could be Life Threatening
Cancer of the eye is among the rarest type of cancer. Several types of cancer could occur in the eye area and affect the eye but the most common type is ocular melanoma eye cancer. Melanoma is a cancer that developed from melanocytes, cells that responsible for the color of the skin. Melanoma is actually most common in the skin but it may occur in the eye. Although very rare, cancer that developed in eye area could spread to other part of the body. In serious case, it could spread to distant organs such as lungs or liver and could be life threatening. For that reason, eye cancer should be treated early to prevent spreading and complication.
Risks, Symptoms, and Treatments of Cancer of the Eye
Due to rareness of eye cancer, the cause is still unknown and only limited risk factors could be defined. The possible risk factor of eye melanoma is long time and excessive exposure to ultraviolet. The UV could be from sunlight, sunbed, or sunlamp. Several studies also found possible link between cancer of the eye with atypical mole syndrome called dysplastic naevus syndrome. Melanoma may develop from existing mole in the conjunctiva and may develop from PAM (Primary Acquired Melanosis).
Usually, eye melanoma does not create any symptom. Melanoma is usually found by optician when performing routine test to the eye. Hence, it is important to have regular eye test to know whether you have melanoma develop in your eyes or not. Nevertheless, it is important to vigilant to any unusual condition in the eyes such as blurred vision, the feeling of seeing flashing lights, and seeing shadows. Then, you can also help early detection of cancer of the eye by doing self-exam on the eye. Search carefully for the possibility of dark or white patches of the eyes and the surrounding.
Treatment options for eye cancer are varied. The possible options are including radiotherapy, chemotherapy with eye drops, surgery, transpupillary thermotherapy, cryotherapy, and photodynamic therapy. Doctor may recommend one treatment or combination of treatments based on individual condition. To know how much the treatment work so far doctor may conduct several tests such as transillumination, color fundus photography, PET/CT Scan, and MRI. Those tests are also functional in helping the doctor to plan treatment for cancer of the eye.