Eye Cancers types and Treatments
Cancers in the eye (intraocular cancers)
There are two types of cancers that can be found in the eye, The primary intraocular cancers start inside the eyeball, In adults, the melanoma is the most popular primary intraocular cancer, followed by primary intraocular lymphoma.
In the children, The retinoblastoma (cancer which starts in cells in the retina) is the most popular primary intraocular cancer, and the medulloepithelioma is the next most common (but it is still extremely rare).
The secondary intraocular cancers start somewhere else in the body and then they spread to the eye, they are more popular than the primary intraocular cancers, The most popular cancers which spread to the eye are the breast and the lung cancers, These cancers spread to the part of the eyeball called the uvea.
Intraocular melanoma (melanoma of the eye)
The intraocular melanoma is the most popular type of cancer which develops within the eyeball in adults but it is still fairly rare, The melanomas of the skin are much more popular than the intraocular melanomas.
The intraocular melanomas are made up of two kinds of cells which are the spindle cells which are long, thin cells, The epithelioid cells which are almost round but with some straight edges.
The melanomas develop from the pigment-making cells called the melanocytes, When the melanoma develops in the eye, It is usually in the uvea that is why these cancers are also called the uveal melanomas.
About 9 out of 10 Intraocular melanomas develop in the choroid or the ciliary body (which are parts of the uvea), The choroid cells make the same kind of pigment as the melanocytes in the skin.
The other intraocular melanomas start in the iris (It is part of the uvea), These are the easiest for the persons (or their doctor) to see because they start in the dark spot on the iris which has been found for many years and then begins to grow.
These melanomas are fairly slow growing, and they rarely spread to the other parts of the body, So, the people with iris melanomas generally have a good prognosis.
The eye cancer is rare, There are a number of different cancers which can affect the eye, The eye (ocular) melanoma is the most common, The eye melanoma doesn’t cause any symptoms and they may be found by the optician during the routine eye test.
The signs and symptoms can include blurred vision, seeing the flashing lights and the shadows, the brown or dark patches on the white area of the eye, These symptoms can be caused by the other eye conditions but it is a good idea to get them checked.
Primary intraocular lymphoma (lymphoma of the eye)
The lymphoma is the type of cancer which starts in the immune system cells called the lymphocytes, and the lymphomas start in the lymph nodes that are the bean-sized collections of the immune system cells scattered throughout the body.
The lymphomas can also start in the internal organs such as the stomach, the lungs, and rarely in the eyes, There are 2 main types of lymphoma which are Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, The primary intraocular lymphoma is the type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Most people with the primary intraocular lymphoma are elderly or have the immune system problems such as AIDS, The primary intraocular lymphoma is often seen along with the lymphoma of the brain, known as the primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma.
Orbital and adnexal cancers
The orbital and adnexal cancers develop from the tissues such as the muscle, the nerve, and the skin around the eyeball and they are like their counterparts in other parts of the body, The cancers of the eyelid are usually the skin cancers (Melanoma Skin Cancer and Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cell).
Treatments for eye melanoma
The main treatments for the eye melanoma are the brachytherapy, tiny plates lined with the radioactive material called the plaques are inserted near the tumor and they are left in place for up to a week to kill the cancerous cells.
The external radiotherapy, a machine is used to carefully aim the beams of radiation at the tumor to kill the cancerous cells, The surgery is used to remove the tumor or part of the eye, It may be possible if the tumor is small and you still have some vision in your eye.
The removal of the eye (enucleation), It may be necessary if the tumor is large or you have lost your vision , the eye will be replaced with the artificial eye that matches your other eye, The chemotherapy is rarely used for the eye melanoma , but it may be suitable for the other types of eye cancer.