Although it is rare among all cancers, the most common type of eye cancer in adults is melanoma. While these growths usually occur on the skin, melanomas can develop in any part of the body where cells contain the pigment melanin, including the choroid membrane in the back of your eye.
Frequently, choroidal melanomas that are allowed to enlarge will cause the retina to detach, leading to vision loss. These tumors can also spread to other parts of the body, especially the liver, after which they may become deadly.
No, not all retinal tumors cause cancer. Some of these tumors are benign, including:
CHPRE is congenital: you were born with the lesion, and it will likely stay benign for the rest of your life. In the same vein, choroidal nevi are just freckles, and they carry the same cancer risk as a freckle on your skin. That said, any spot on your eye should be detected and monitored by an experienced ophthalmologist like Dr. Parvus. CHRPEs in both eyes (or multiple in one eye) can be a signal for Gardner’s Syndrome, which can result in skin tumors and colon cancer, and choroidal nevi that are thicker than 2 mm carry a particular risk of developing into melanoma. Consistent monitoring can help catch cancer as early as possible, allowing us to remove the growth and greatly improve your prognosis.
If we detect a melanoma on your eye, or a previously benign lesion becomes cancerous, you have several options for treatment depending on the size of the growth:
At Infinity Retina, we will always do everything we can to preserve your eye and leave your vision as intact as possible.
Researchers believe that, like skin cancer, eye cancers may be the result of excessive exposure to UV rays. That’s why protecting your eyes from cancer looks very similar to the way we protect your skin. Dr. Parvus recommends that her patients always wear sunglasses with appropriate UV protection.
As is the case with most cancers, early detection of ocular cancer is essential to a good prognosis. That’s why you should never wait to have an eye tumor examined by an experienced ophthalmologist.
At Infinity Retina, Dr. Britt J. Parvus has the specialized experience as an ocular oncologist to detect eye tumors, monitor their progression, and provide quick treatment should they develop into eye cancer. Using her personalized approach, Dr. Parvus will work directly with you to develop a treatment plan in which you are comfortable and confident.
Don’t wait to address a potential eye tumor. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Parvus today.