Eye Cancer Overview, Symptoms and Treatment Methods


The Eye cancer or the cancer of the eye is the cancerous growth of cells in the eye region. There are various types of eye cancer.

Some of them are retinoblastoma, melanoma and primary intraocular lymphoma.

Primary intraocular cancers are eye cancers that start inside the eyeball. The secondary intraocular cancers are eye cancers that have spread from some other part of the body (metastasize).

According to the studies it is estimated that about 2,360 new cases of all primary intraocular cancers which include the eye and orbit will be diagnosed in the year. Originally eye cancer of any type starts elsewhere in the body and spreads to the eye meaning metastasized. Over 90% of melanomas start in the skin, while lymphomas are more likely to begin in lymph nodes.

As far as eye cancer is considered there is no age restriction meaning it may occur or affect people of any age. The primary eye cancers can occur at any age, but most cases occur in people over age 50. Over the last 25 years the incidence of eye melanomas has been stable or may have dropped slightly thanks to the advanced research.

Eye Cancer Symptoms

The various eye cancer symptoms include:

  • Within the socket of the eye noticeable change in the eye ball position may be observed.
  • Sometimes the eye may appear bulging
  • Change in eye movement within the socket
  • One of the uncommon eye cancer symptoms is pain. But this may happen when the spread outside the eye is massive. In such a case the above mentioned first two eye cancer symptoms may be noticed
  • Change in vision, blurred vision or decreased vision may be experienced
  • Sometimes even floaters meaning spots or squiggles drifting in the field of vision may be experienced
  • Flashes of light in vision
  • Most weird eye cancer symptom is able to see only a part of what is around
  • A growing dark spot on the iris

Eye Cancer Treatment

The treatment depends on the advancement of the tumor. The most effective treatment is an enucleation, the removal of the eye if the tumor is in the advanced stages and there is little hope of regaining vision. Maximum efforts are made to cure without this drastic treatment. Other eye surgeries include the following:

  • Iridectomy is named after the part of the eye the iris as this involves the removal of part of the iris which is affected by the disease
  • Choroidectomy named after the eye part the choroid, involves the removal of part of the choroid
  • Iridotrabeculectomy is a surgical procedure which is used to remove parts of the supporting tissues around the cornea and iris
  • Iridocyclectomy is a surgical procedure which is used to remove parts of the ciliary body and parts of iris

When the tumor is small and there is a good chance that the vision will be restored less drastic measures than the above surgeries are taken in eye cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy are two types of treatment that help in killing off the existing tumor and preventing its spread into other areas of the body.

Besides radiation and chemotherapy there are other methods of eye cancer treatment. Thermotherapy uses heat to destroy the cancer cells. Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to destroy the cancer cells.

Photocoagulation is another eye cancer treatment procedure which uses a laser to destroy blood vessels that supply the tumor with nutrients. If the tumor of eye cancer isn’t advanced these are good options to treat it in order to avoid losing an eye.