What is intraocular melanoma?
Intraocular melanoma is a type of cancer that forms in the middle layer of the eye. This layer includes the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. The cancer forms in the cells that make melanin. It is the most common form of eye cancer in adults, with an incidence rate of six per million people in the United States.
What are the symptoms of intraocular melanoma?
Symptoms of this cancer include:
- Dark spots on the iris
- Blurred vision or changes in vision
- Floaters or flashes of light in your field of vision
- A change in the eyeball’s position in the socket
- A change in size or shape of the pupil
What causes intraocular melanoma?
The exact cause of this cancer is unknown. Medical professionals are aware that sun exposure is not associated with this cancer. Genetic conditions can be associated with a higher risk of intraocular melanoma, but it does not run in families.
How is intraocular melanoma diagnosed?
This type of cancer is typically noticed and diagnosed during a routine eye exam, as the early stages do not cause symptoms. A biopsy is rarely needed, but it is necessary if doctors want to conduct genetic testing.
What are the treatments for intraocular melanoma?
If the cancer has not progressed or is small in size, treatment will consist of observation. If not, treatment options include laser tumor ablation, vitrectomy, radiotherapy, and enucleation.