The condition where the cells of the eye divide uncontrollably and form a mass of cells is referred to as “eye cancer.” Eye cancer is very rare. Almost 80% of eye cancers are treatable if detected early, and the cancer is confined to the eye only. Males are more affected by eye cancer than females. Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that is common among children.
Types of Eye Cancer
The most common eye cancers are:
- Ocular melanoma: It occurs in the pigment that gives color to the eye, hair, and skin.
- Primary intraocular lymphoma: This cancer refers to the lymphoma of the eye.
- Retinoblastoma: It occurs in the retina
- Adnexal cancer: This is the cancer of the eyelids and tearing glands.
Symptoms of Eye Cancer
The common symptoms of eye cancer are:
- Pain in or around the eye
- Loss of vision partially or fully
- Blurred vision
- A dark patch in the eye that keeps getting bigger
- Shadows or flashes of light
- Bulging of the eye
- A lump in the eye or eyelids which keeps getting bigger
- Changes in the shape or size of the pupil
- Changes in the position of the eyeball and the way the eye moves in the socket.
Causes of Eye Cancer
Many factors increase the risk of eye cancer, such as:
- People with light-colored irises
- Increased age
- Being white
- A family or personal history of cancer
- Exposure to certain radiations
- Infection with HIV
- Use of sunbeds
- Having moles on the body
- Certain inherited skin conditions or disorders, like dysplastic nevus syndrome
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, Nashik, we have the best ocular oncologists who are trained at delivering the best treatment for various types of eye cancer.
Diagnosis of Eye Cancer
The doctor may perform the following tests for the diagnosis of eye cancer:
- Physical Eye examination: The doctor checks for enlarged blood vessels in the eyes that may indicate cancer.
- Eye ultrasound: It produces a series of images of an eye to detect cancer using sound waves.
- Biopsy: It is performed to check for cancerous cells in a sample of tissue taken from the eye.
- Fluorescein angiography: It creates a detailed picture of the blood vessels of the eye.
- Computer tomography: The doctor performs a CT scan to check for a tumor and to measure its size and its extent of spread.
- Magnetic resonance imaging: This technique produces a detailed 3-D image of the eye to detect eye cancer and decide treatment plans.
- Positron emission tomography: PET scan produces images of the internal of an eye against radioactive contrast media.
- Optical coherence tomography: It produces detailed images of the back of the eye using light rays.
Treatment of Eye Cancer
At Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the best eye cancer treatment doctors in Nashik, who are well-versed in treating eye cancers of various stages. The doctor may use the following treatment methods for the treatment of eye cancer:
Surgery: The surgeon removes the tumor and nearby surrounding tissue from the eye. The doctor may perform the following types of surgery:
- Iiridectomy is a technique to remove the affected part of the iris.
- Iridocyclectomy to remove the cancerous part of the iris and ciliary body.
- Surgery to remove choroidal cancer while keeping the eye is called end resection.
- Surgery for the removal of an eye is called enucleation.
Chemotherapy: The type of anti-cancer drugs used to treat eye cancer depends on the type of eye cancer, its stage, and its location in the eye. Some cancers on the surface of the eye, like myeloma and squamous cell cancer, are treated using eye drops. For treatment of eye lymphoma, chemotherapy is usually given via an intravenous route.
Immunotherapy: It stimulates the body’s immune system to differentiate, recognize, and attack cancerous cells. Immunotherapy is used to treat advanced-stage eye cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated with surgery.
Targeted therapy: Specific proteins or molecules on or inside the cancerous cell are targeted using it. The doctor uses the targeted therapy to kill the eye tumor, relieve pain, and symptoms, deliver the radioactive substance to cancerous cells and manage the side effects. It is mainly used for advanced-stage eye cancer. The different types of targeted therapy used are:
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors block tyrosine kinase to prevent cells from growing and dividing.
- Monoclonal antibodies work by blocking a particular protein in cancerous cells.
Radiation therapy: radiation is used to slow down the growth of cancer cells and kill them. The doctor can use external beam radiation therapy or internal radiation therapy to destroy the cancerous cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I prevent eye cancer?
A few reports show a connection between melanoma and eye cancer. So, you can reduce your risk of eye cancer by limiting your exposure to the sun. Also, get screened by a doctor at regular intervals after 50 years of age.
2. Will I be able to see after cancer treatment?
It depends on the type of treatment method used by the doctor. You will not be able to see if a doctor performs enucleation, in which the completely affected eye is removed.
3. What is the survival rate with eye cancer?
Eye cancers are very rare. If detected at an early stage, it has a high survival rate. However, ocular melanoma is serious cancer with a low survival rate in comparison to other types. It also tends to spread to other parts.
4. Why is it important to go through follow-up after eye cancer?
Even after the successful treatment, it is important to follow up with the doctor, as eye cancer can come back even after many years of treatment. It also helps to manage the side effects after the treatment.