Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Melanoma eye cancer is a cancer that attacks cells melanocytes in the eye. Check out a full explanation of the symptoms, causes, and how to treat it in the following review.
What is Melanoma Eye Cancer?
Melanoma eye cancer or also called mOcular elanoma is a cancer that develops from cells called melanocytes.
Melanocytes function to produce the dark pigment melanin. These cells are located throughout the body such as skin, hair, and the lining of internal organs; including eyes.
Melanoma can develop in any of several parts of the eye. Uveal melanoma is the most common type of ocular melanoma. This type of melanoma appears along the uveal tract of the eye, including the choroid, ciliary body, And iris.
this type of cancer is a type eye cancer which are most common in adults and generally do not interfere with the sufferer’s vision. However, if the size is large this condition can result in loss of vision.
Symptoms of Melanoma Eye Cancer
Usually the symptoms of eye cancer grow in the eye and are difficult to detect Symptoms will only appear after the cancer has progressed to the next stage.
Symptoms of melanoma eye cancer can vary, depending on the location, size of the cancer, and the extent to which the growth of cancer cells affects the retina. Some of the common symptoms include:
- blurred vision, blurry, and or missing.
- Loss of peripheral vision.
- Dark spots appear on the iris which are getting bigger over time.
- It feels like there are black spots or lines blocking the view.
- Growing lumps on the eyelids.
- One eye appears to be more prominent.
- The pupil shape changes.
- There is a sensation of a flash of light or a small dust (floaters)
In advanced stages, this condition can even cause more severe symptoms such as causing pain or pain around the eyes. However, this discomfort can occur if the cancer has spread to other organs.
When is the Right Time to See a Doctor?
As previously explained, melanoma eye cancer often does not show significant symptoms at first. This condition is usually only discovered when the patient has his eyes examined by a doctor.
Therefore, immediately consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms as above. The doctor may do several tests to determine the cause of your complaint. This is also useful for preventing the possibility of worse complications.
Causes of Melanoma Eye Cancer
The cause of melanoma eye cancer is not yet known what the exact causal factors are. However, it is known that this disease is caused by mutations or changes in genes. This mutation triggers the growth of abnormal cells that lead to cancer.
Behind this gene mutation, which is not yet known clearly, health experts suspect that there are a number of factors that can affect a person’s risk of developing melanoma cancer in the eye.
Here are some factors that can increase the risk of melanoma eye cancer, including:
1. Eye Color
People who have light eye color (blue, green, gray) are said to have a higher risk of developing melanoma eye cancer than people with dark eye color, for example black or brown.
2. Skin and Hair Color
Most of these cancers attack owners of white and pale skin like the Caucasian race. People who have blonde or red hair and blue eyes are at risk for this disease.
Ocular melanoma may be more common in people who have it mole atypical (also called dysplastic nevus syndrome). The condition of abnormal moles can indicate a higher risk of developing melanoma eye cancer to melanoma skin cancer.
4. Exposure to UV Rays
It is known that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays either from the sun or sunbeds may increase the risk of skin melanoma. This condition may occur in people who are too long and often bask in the sun or do the process tanning excessively.
People whose skin burns easily are most at risk for this disease.
As a person gets older, the risk of melanoma eye cancer will also increase.
Also Read: 9 Causes of Eye Cancer and Its Characteristics You Need to Know!
Melanoma Eye Cancer Diagnosis
When making a diagnosis, the doctor will usually carry out a number of examinations with the help of several tools, including:
An examination is done to see the inside of the eye, including the retina and optic nerve.
Doctors usually use a beam of light and a special eye microscope to examine the retina, optic nerve, and other parts of the eye.
Is an examination procedure performed to see the growth of cancer in areas that are difficult to see. In addition, this examination also makes it easier for the doctor to see whether there is a blockage at the eye discharge site.
If needed, several supporting examinations may be recommended by the doctor to determine the condition of the eye and how far the cancer has spread, including:
- Scanning with eye ultrasound, CT scan, PET scan, and MRI, to see the condition of the inside of the eye and to see the spread of eye cancer.
- Angiography of the eye, this test is performed to map the condition of the blood vessels of the eye and the presence of tumors.
- Biopsy, to detect cancer cells by taking samples of eye tissue or what is called optical coherence tomography (OCT). The function of this test is to determine the condition of the eye with certainty by utilizing light waves.
Melanoma Eye Cancer Treatment
Basically, treatment is carried out to protect the patient’s vision. The treatment for each patient varies depending on the size, location of the tumor, and the patient’s overall health condition. Here are some common treatment methods, including:
As the name implies, radiotherapy or radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells.
Doctors can suggest surgery to treat this condition. The type of procedure is determined based on the location, size of the tumor, and the patient’s condition. Operations that are generally performed:
- Tumor removal surgery. Action this is done to remove the tumor as well as some healthy tissue around it. Doctors will recommend this type of surgery if the size of the tumor is small and the patient can still see.
- Enucleation surgery (eye removal). In large, painful tumors, enucleation may be necessary. Generally, this operation is intended for patients who have lost their sight. The patient’s eyes will be removed and replaced with artificial eyes specially made to resemble real eyes.
3. Laser therapy
This therapy is carried out if the doctor judges that the patient cannot undergo radiotherapy or surgery.
Also Read: 7 Trivial Habits That Can Make Your Eyes Damage
Eye Cancer Complications
If not handled properly, this condition can lead to complications of other eye diseases, such as:
Cancer that is left unchecked continuously can trigger it to spread to other parts of the body, even areas that are far from the eyes such as the lungs, liver, and bones.
Glaucoma causes red eyes, pain, and accompanied by blurred vision. This eye disorder is characterized by increased pressure in the eyeball.
Melanoma eye cancer that is left unchecked can cause retinal detachment blindness.
Retinal detachment is the detachment of the retina from its anchoring tissue. This eye disease is an emergency medical condition that must be treated as soon as possible. The worst possibility can cause blindness.
Prevention of Melanoma Eye Cancer
Although the cause of this condition is not known with certainty. However, you can avoid factors that can increase your risk of ocular melanoma, including:
- Limit exposure to ultraviolet rays.
- Use eye protection when performing therapy with ultraviolet lamps (sunbeds).
- Wear sunglasses when out in the sun.
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- Porters, Daniel. 2022. What is Ocular Melanoma?. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-ocular-melanoma. (Accessed 17 February 2023)
- Yetman, Daniel. 2022. Everything You Should Know About Ocular (Eye) Melanoma. https://www.healthline.com/health/melanoma-in-the-eye. (Accessed February 17, 2023)
- Watson, Stephanie. 2021. Ocular Melanoma. https://www.webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/ocular-melanoma. (Accessed February 17, 2023)
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