Cancer in the Eyes – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Eye cancer, also known as ocular cancer, is a type of cancer that affects one or more different parts of the eye. It can be intraocular if the internal parts of the eyes are affected, or extraocular for external parts. Either way, no one likes to suffer from this kind of cancer. Yes, it is a cancer so it is that serious.


For sure, you have some questions about eye cancers. What are the risks and causes of getting an eye cancer? How do you know if it is a cancer? If you are diagnosed, what are the methods to use to treat it? Are there are any preventions you can do?

Types of Eye Cancers

Since eyes have different parts, cancers in this location vary. It can affect the eyeball, the melanoma, the lymphoma, the conjunctiva, the eyelid, or other parts. The most common type is melanoma cancer, followed by lymphoma cancer. They may start directly from the eyes or from other parts of the body, and in that case, it is a secondary cancer. Besides, melanoma refers to the skin, and lymphoma refers to lymph nodes.

Melanocytes are the term used to cells that are cancerous. These occur anywhere where skin is present and linings of body parts, which include the eyes. This cancer may start in the eyelid, eyeball, or conjunctiva. It usually affects adults, and very rare in children.

Lymphoma of the eye can also become cancerous. This can happen to a person who has a weakened immune system. Those with HIV/AIDs, and had or currently undergoing organ transplants with the intake of drugs that affect the immune system are more prone to have this kind of cancer.

Cancer in the Eyes

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Risks and Causes

Like in other cancers, this condition can affect anyone of any age, race, gender, and family history. However, people who are more into bad lifestyles and poor diet are more vulnerable to getting eye cancer.

In melanoma cancer, people who are from Caucasian ethnicity have higher risk. That is because they have natural light colored eyes. Asians and Africans have brown eyes, which are less prone to having this kind of cancer.

Those who have skin issue also can have melanoma cancer in the eyes. They are more at risk of getting this cancer as a matter of fact.

Signs and Symptoms


Eyes are easy to get irritated. You won’t have difficulty identifying if there’s problem in one or two of your eyes. Many of the symptoms of eye cancers are similar other conditions. These include blurry vision or partial loss of sight, pain, itchiness, bulging or swelling, and redness. They may appear to be signs of minor conditions, but remember they may also indicate cancer. A more unusual symptom that normally refers to eye cancer is when a person sees flashes and white or dark spots through the affected eye.

Treatments and Prevention

Whether melanoma or lymphoma, cancer can be treated through surgical procedure or radiotherapy. Sometimes, it has to be treated with both. Doctors have to thoroughly check the condition of the eye and must confirm if there are cancerous cells present or not. Screening tests and physical exams are definitely essential to identify which kind of procedure to apply in treating the cancer.

Regular eye checkup is very essential to help prevent this cancer. The earlier the diagnosis is the better chance of treating it. Also, there are tests conducted that can help decrease the risk of having eye cancer. Even if there are no symptoms, it is recommended to see a doctor at least once or twice a year, to see if your eyes are healthy or at risk of such conditions, like cancer.

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