When someone mentions skin cancer or melanoma, we tend to think of arms, shoulders, and faces. But skin cancer, or Ocular Melanoma, can also attack the eye. Melanoma of the eye can begin in the eye and spread to other organs, or it can begin on the skin or other organs and spread to the eye.
What are some of the symptoms of Ocular Melanoma?
- Change in iris color
- Poor vision in one eye
- Small defect on the iris (colored ring around the pupil)
- Red, painful eye
- Bulging eyes
- Some cases show no obvious symptoms.
Who is most likely to contract Ocular Melanoma?
- Those who are exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (tanning bed) over long periods of time.
- Those with light-colored eyes (blue or green).
- Older age.
- Caucasian descent.
How can we prevent this type of cancer? So far Ocular Melanoma is not considered a preventable cancer. However, shielding your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays with UV-protectant sunglasses can help. A yearly comprehensive eye exam is also suggested. Here at Stanwood Eye Clinic, we offer fundus photography, a service in which we take a picture of the back of your eye. Fundus photographs can also detect Ocular Melanoma.
Normal Fundus Photograph:
Fundus Photograph of Ocular Melanoma: