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Ocular melanoma

Overview

A type of cancer that develops in the eye. The cancer develops from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. This cancer becomes more common with increasing age.

Symptoms - Ocular melanoma

* Blurred vision * Flashing lights * Shadows in vision * Misty eye lens * Cataract

Causes - Ocular melanoma

Melanoma is a very aggressive type of cancer that can spread rapidly. Melanoma of the eye can affect several parts of the eye, including the: * Choroid * Ciliary body * Iris The choroid layer is the most likely location of melanoma in the eye. The cancer may only be in the eye, or it may spread (metastasize) to another location in the body. Melanoma can also begin on the skin or other organs in the body and spread to the eye. Melanoma is the most common type of eye tumor in adults. Even so, primary melanoma of the eye is rare. Excessive exposure to sunlight is an important risk factor. The occurrence of melanoma has greatly increased in recent decades. Fair-skinned and blue-eyed people are most often affected.

Prevention - Ocular melanoma

The most important way to prevent eye melanoma is to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun\'s rays are most intense. Wear sunglasses, and be sure they have ultraviolet protection.

Diagnosis - Ocular melanoma

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Prognosis - Ocular melanoma

The outcome for melanoma of the eye depends on the size of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Most patients will survive at least 5 years from the time of diagnosis if the cancer has not spread outside the eye. If the cancer has spread outside the eye, the chance of survival is much lower.

Treatment - Ocular melanoma

Small melanomas may be treated with lasers or by radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may be needed if the tumor has spread. Surgical removal of the eye may be necessary to prevent the spread of the tumor to the brain or other organs.

Resources - Ocular melanoma

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