Retinal Cancer Symptoms

Retinal Cancer.jpgCancers affecting the retina usually occur in the choroid, a dense layer of blood vessels that supplies the retina. The choroid is located between the retina and the sclera (the outer white layer of the eye). Because the retina depends on the choroid for its support and half of its blood supply, damage to the choroid by a cancer is likely to affect vision. 

Choroidal melanoma is a cancer that originates from the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) of the choroid. Choroidal melanoma is the most common cancer originating in the eye. It occurs most frequently between ages 55 to 60. 

Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that begins in the retina — the sensitive lining on the inside of your eye. Retinoblastoma most commonly affects young children, but can rarely occur in adults. Your retina is made up of nerve tissue that senses light as it comes through the front of your eye. The retina sends signals through your optic nerve to your brain where these signals are interpreted as images. About 250 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma annually. It accounts for approximately 3% of childhood cancers. 

Symptoms of Retinal Cancer 

In its early stages, retinal cancer usually does not interfere with vision. Later, it may cause blurred vision or retinal detachment with symptoms such as flashes of light, a veil or curtain across the visual field or a sudden increase or change in floaters (objects that appear to move through a person’s field of vision). Melanomas, particularly if large, may extend into the orbit or spread through the bloodstream (metastasize) to other parts of the body and may be fatal. Other common retinal cancer symptoms include:

  • Squinting  
  • Unusual glint in eye  
  • Retinal tumor  
  • White looking pupil (Leukokoria)  
  • Crossed eyes (Strambismus) 
  • Vision loss  
  • Eye inflammation  
  • Calcification of eyeball

If you would like more information about retinal cancer symptoms in Phoenix or would like to schedule a retinal examination with one of our retina specialists, please contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com

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