Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can be life-threatening. It usually occurs on the skin, but can also occur on other parts of the body, such as the eyes. Eyelid melanoma, or ocular melanoma, affects the cells that produce pigmentation and determine an individual’s eye color.
So what should you look out for to check for melanoma? If you notice a new spot, bump, or mole on your eyelid that looks different or starts to change size, color, or shape, be on the lookout. you need to pay. In some cases, it may be accompanied by itching and bleeding. These are signs that you should consult your doctor. This blog explains how eyelid melanoma is diagnosed and treated and what you can do to protect your skin.
Understand Mmalignant melanoma eyelid
Eyelid melanoma is a subset of eye cancer. It primarily affects the uvea, the layer between the retina and the white part of the eye. There are two types of it: primary eye cancer and secondary eye cancer. Primary eye cancer starts within the eye, whereas secondary eye cancer starts in another part of the body and spreads to the eye. About 9 out of 10 cases of ocular melanoma are secondary, and the primary tumor usually occurs in the skin.
Symptoms of eyelid melanoma
Some people remain asymptomatic, but Symptoms of early stage ocular melanoma May include:
1. Dark spots on the iris: An early sign of eyelid melanoma is the appearance of dark spots on the iris. This spot can grow over time.
2. Displacement of the eye within the orbit: In some cases, the affected eye may shift from its normal position within the orbit.
3. Flashing lights in the visual field: Patients with eyelid melanoma may experience flashing lights or visual disturbances.
4. Watery eyes: Excessive tearing or tearing may be a symptom.
5. Blurred vision: Melanoma of the eyelids may cause blurred or distorted vision.
6. Loss of peripheral vision in one eye: Melanoma can cause gradual loss of peripheral vision in one eye.
7. Floaters: Some people with eyelid melanoma notice “floaters” in their visual field. Floaters are spots, squiggles, dots, lines, clouds, or spider webs that appear to be floating in your vision. Although it can be a little annoying, the important thing to remember is that having floaters doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer.
8. Pain in or around the eye: Pain in or around the eye can be a symptom of eyelid melanoma.
Also read: Best eye vitamins for blurred vision
Causes of eyelid melanoma
These risk factors include:
Eye color: People with blue or green pupils are more likely to get ocular melanoma than people with brown eyes. Ocular melanoma is a serious disease that can lead to vision loss and death.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with an increased risk of conjunctival melanoma.
dysplastic nevus syndrome: People with this condition may develop strange-looking moles called “dysplastic nevi.” The edges of these moles are not smooth and are clustered close together. These strange moles are more likely than regular moles to be a type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma.
Ethnicity: Ocular melanoma is most common in Caucasians.
Age: Ocular melanoma can develop at any age, but it is more likely to occur as you get older.
Diagnosis of eyelid melanoma
An ophthalmologist or optometrist should perform regular eye exams for early detection. They have the expertise to thoroughly examine your eyes for abnormalities, including tumors.
The diagnostic process typically includes the following steps:
1. External ophthalmological examination: The outer part of the eye is examined for dilated blood vessels or other visible abnormalities that may reveal the presence of an eye disease.
2. Intraocular examination: An ophthalmoscope is used to examine the inside of the eye. This tool helps examine the retina, optic nerve, lens, and other structures within the eye.
3. Pupil dilation: In some cases, eye drops may dilate a patient’s pupils. This process enlarges the opening for thorough inspection.
4. Ophthalmoscopy: This is generally effective in detecting most cases of ocular melanoma. If ocular melanoma is suspected, additional imaging tests are recommended to confirm the diagnosis. These tests may include:
5. Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves create images of the internal structures of the eye. Ocular melanoma often shows characteristic features on ultrasound images, which help determine the thickness of the tumor.
6. Fluorescein angiography: A camera records images of the yellow pigment circulating in the blood vessels of the eye. This procedure highlights the dye flow and provides information about the blood vessels in the retina.
If melanoma is confirmed, the patient will be referred to an oncologist to develop a treatment plan. Additionally, further tests may be needed to determine the severity of the disease and whether it has spread to other areas of the body. These tests include blood tests, chest x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and biopsies.
Also read: Vuity Eye Drops – Usage, Benefits, Side Effects, and More
Treatment options for eyelid melanoma
Are you worried? ”Can eye melanoma be cured? ” Treatment of eyelid melanoma depends on several factors. Treatment options include:
The surgery chosen depends on the characteristics of the tumor.
I.1. Iridectomy: This surgery removes small melanomas in the iris that have not spread to other areas of the eye.
I.2. Iridotrabeculectomy: This surgery removes the iris and some of the supporting tissue that may be affected.
I.3. Iridocyclectomy: This procedure involves removing part of the iris and ciliary body. The ciliary body is a thin layer containing blood vessels located between the white part of the eye and the retina.
I.4. Thyroidectomy: During this surgery, the doctor removes part of the choroid (part of the eye) and sometimes the eye wall where blood vessels are located. In some cases, radiation therapy may be given after surgery to prevent the problem from coming back.
I.5. Enucleation: If you have a large tumor and other treatments would cause significant loss of vision, your doctor may suggest something called an “enucleation.” At that time, they remove the entire eye. A prosthetic eye can then be inserted to help you see normally, even if it doesn’t look like a real eye. This is often done to improve vision.
Radiation therapy uses targeted radiation to destroy cancer cells. The radiation is delivered carefully to minimize damage to healthy cells. Two types of radiation therapy are used for ocular melanoma.
II.1. Teletherapy: This external radiation method targets malignant cells within the eye.
II.2. Brachytherapy: in brachytherapy, small radioactive seeds are temporarily placed in the eye to shrink the tumor. A plaque containing some iodine-125 seeds may stick to the eye wall near the tumor and emit radiation for several days.
Also read: Do you have pink eye?
III.Other targeted treatments:
III.1. Transpupillary thermotherapy: This involves using infrared laser therapy to apply heat to shrink small tumors.
III.2. Cryotherapy: Cancer cells can be killed by freezing them using liquid nitrogen.
It should be noted that the choice of treatment should be decided in consultation.
Prevention of eyelid melanoma
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing this condition. These main measures include:
- You should wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays.
- Protect your face and eyes by applying sunscreen and wearing a hat.
- Please wear a hat before going out. A large hat basically protects your face and eyes from the sun. It reflects all UV rays back to you.
- Avoid moving to areas with a lot of snow or sand. Because it reflects sunlight.
- If you ski or hike, be careful at high altitudes.
- It is important to exercise your eyes every day.
- Eat a proper diet and avoid processed foods and meat.
- Rinse your eyes carefully.
Also read: Eye protection and sunglasses – everything you need to know
Outlook for eyelid melanoma
Doctors determine how successful a person is in fighting cancer by looking at the five-year relative survival rate. This compares how likely a person with cancer is to survive five years after finding out they have cancer compared to someone without cancer. means to.
If melanoma is only in the eye and has not spread anywhere, Survival rate It’s about 85%. It’s a good chance to get better.
However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the survival rate drops significantly to about 19%. Therefore, it is best to detect it early and prevent it from spreading.
Eyelid melanoma is a special type of cancer that affects the eyes. Early detection and treatment are very important to increase the chances of recovery. It’s a good idea to understand what things can increase your risk of infection, get regular eye exams, and be careful about excessive sun exposure.
It’s important to understand what increases your risk of infection, have your eyes examined regularly, and be careful about excessive sunlight. With advances in medicine, patients with eyelid melanoma can receive better treatment and are more likely to get better if they can act quickly to care for their eyes.