Eye Cancer(Ocular Carcinoma) Eye cancer is an umbrella term that refers to different cancers that may originate in any part of the eye or spread to the eye from other organs. Lymphoma, melanoma, and retinoblastoma are some types of eye cancers.
Associated Anatomy of Eye Cancer
The eyeball, tear glands, and eyelids are likely to be affected by eye cancer.
Risk Factors of Eye Cancer
- Racial factors - Intraocular melanoma is more likely to occur in the white population.
- Age - Melanoma is more common in people over 60 years of age.
- Eye colour - People with light eyes are more likely to develop eye cancer.
- Presence of moles - People with a tendency to have several moles known as atypical moles with irregular sizes can be prone to develop eye melanoma.
- Hereditary factors - The presence of family traits like melanoma, abnormal brown spots, or oculodermal melanocytosis can be a risk factor for eye cancers.
Causes of Eye Cancer
- DNA changes - A change in DNA may trigger uncontrolled growth of cancer cells
- Genetic factors - Inheritance of BAP1 syndrome
- Metastasis - The spread of cancer in the eye from other organs
- UV radiation - Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause eye cancers
- Occupational hazards - Workers in chemical plants, welders etc. are more prone to it
Pathophysiology of Eye Cancer
There is a development of neoplasm because of RB1 gene inactivation in retinoblastoma. It results in abnormal growth of retinal stem cells. In melanoma, there is a spread of cancer cells to the subcutaneous tissue and lymph nodes. Oval-type cells represent epithelioid melanoma. Longer cells with tapering at both ends indicate spindle cell melanoma. Both types of cells denote mixed cell melanoma.
Signs or Symptoms of Eye Cancer
Vision issues - Haloes, floaters, blurry vision, shadows surrounding objects even in a brightly lit area. Presence of a mole - Involves an appearance of a dark mole in the white region. The mole continues to grow in size. Proptosis - Eye bulges out. Pain - Pain in the eye. Vision loss - It may be partial or total. Iris - Alteration in the colour of the iris. Eyelids - Presence of a lump surrounded by blood vessels.
Stages of Eye Cancer
The various stages of eye cancer may be determined using the TNM method.
- T stage- This includes locating the tumour and estimating its size. It also investigates if cancer has spread in the surrounding area.
- N Stage- In this stage, doctors check if the eye cancer has spread to any lymph nodes.
- M Stage- Metastasis stage is the advanced stage of eye cancer involving its spread to other organs in the body.
Typical Tests for Eye Cancer
The use of ultrasound for generating an image of the eye based on the findings of routine examination is a common practice. The study of blood vessels in the eye requires a Fluorescein Angiography test that uses a dye to detect eye cancer. A fine needle biopsy involves the removal of cells from the pupils for microscopic studies. Compound Tomography (CT) test helps precise detection of the tumour with three-dimensional imaging.
Possible Treatment ofEye Cancer
- Surgery - Different surgical options for treating eye cancers include removing part of the iris, ciliary body, a tumour, or complete eye.
- Radiation therapy - Destroying cancer cells by using high-energy X-ray radiations. The options include the use of an external beam or placing radioactive implants.
- Laser therapy - The heat generation can help shrink the tumour.
Primary Prevention of
- Protecting the eyes from hazardous UV rays
- Using sunglasses that guarantee UV protection
- Use of hats to reduce the effect of intense sunlight
- Using appropriate sunscreen and clothing to reduce exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun
- Using protective gear to prevent occupational hazards in workplaces like welding or exposure to chemicals
Secondary prevention of Eye Cancer
- Staying healthy by following a balanced diet plan
- Regular exercise
- Practice yoga or other therapy to achieve general well-being
- Stop smoking
- Avoiding extreme activities that may strain the vision
- Using dietary supplements by discussing with a health or nutrition expert
Expected Prognosis of Eye Cancer
Survival rates of people with small eye carcinoma indicate that eight out of ten patients may recover fully to live up to five years after an early diagnosis and treatment. The survival rates for medium and large eye melanoma are 70% and 50%, respectively. They have a life span of five years after diagnosis.
Natural Progression of Eye Cancer
A failure to treat eye cancer can lead to cancer spreading to distant organs of the body. The spread of eye cancer leads to partial and total loss of vision. The tumour may begin in the iris and spread slowly to involve ciliary glands. It may advance to the eye socket, eyeball, and optic nerve. There is the possibility of the tumour spreading outside the affected eye. The stage of metastasis begins with the involvement of lymph nodes.
Possible Complications of Eye Cancer
- Glaucoma- Progressive melanoma may cause a rise in pressure within the eye. This may result in blurring of the vision and pain in the eye.
- Loss of vision- The vision loss following melanoma of the large eye may indicate a retinal detachment. Partial loss of vision is common in small eye melanoma conditions. Total vision loss is a possible complication of late-stage eye cancers.
- Metastasis- The spread of cancer that begins in the eye is possible to other organs like the liver, bones, and lungs, and can lead to severe complications.
Our BLK-Max Medical Experts
If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the BLK-Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91-11-30403040