What Causes Ocular Cancer?

Ocular cancer can be a primary cancer, meaning it starts in the eye, or it may be a secondary cancer, meaning it has spread to the eye from another location in the body. Ocular cancer is typically presented in the form of tumors. These tumors are composed of cells that grow abnormally and create a mass. Tumors may form in the eye or around the eye, including behind the eye. Tumors outside of the eye are also known as orbital tumors.

Two types of primary ocular cancer arise within the eye itself and are known as retinoblastoma in children and melanoma in adults. Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the retina, the eye’s light-sensitive tissue. Ocular melanoma affects various parts of the eye, specifically the choroid, ciliary body and the iris. Both are considered rare. The exact cause of ocular cancer is unknown, but it may be linked to other conditions. 

Signs of ocular cancer can vary. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Bulging of the eye, usually without pain
  • Swelling of the eye 
  • Changes in vision or vision loss
  • Eye redness
  • Burning or itching in the eye
  • The feeling that something is in the eye

There are various ways to treat ocular cancer, depending on several factors such as the diagnosis, size and aggressiveness of the tumor. Certain small tumors may respond to laser treatment, freezing (cryosurgery) or external radiation therapy. In some instances, it is possible to remove a tumor surgically and still preserve vision.

Early diagnosis and treatment of ocular cancer is extremely important. Regular comprehensive eye examinations are an important way to protect your eye health. A routine examination in Phoenix can help our doctors identify signs of serious health conditions, like ocular cancer. If you notice any changes in your vision or the appearance of your eyes, contact Associated Retina Consultants right away to schedule an examination with our doctors. Call 602-242-4928 or visit website today.

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