Define Eye Cancer and Its Symptoms
Define Eye Cancer
Numerous different eye cancers, including the following, can damage the eyes:
Childhood eye cancer includes retinoblastoma, ocular melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and lymphoma. Additionally, eye cancer can occasionally form in the tissues around your eye or spread from other body regions, such as the lungs or breasts, to the eye.
Origin of Eye Cancer
There are three main components to the eye:
- includes orbit (the tissues encircling the eyeball)
- the adnexal (accessory) structures like the eyelids and tear glands
- and the eyeball (globe), which is largely filled with a jelly-like substance called vitreous humor and has three primary layers upon layers (the sclera, the uvea, and the retina).
Each of these places is where various eye cancer kinds begin. One of the most prevalent types of eye cancer, melanoma of the eye, is the focus of this discussion.
Eye cancer may go undetected for some time and only be discovered during one routine eye exam. Many patients having eye melanoma or eye cancer do not exhibit eye cancer symptoms until cancer has spread to other areas of the eye or reached a more advanced stage. Most of these symptoms can also be brought on by other, less serious illnesses.
For instance, floaters may be a typical aspect of aging or might be one of the eye cancer symptoms. However, it’s crucial to visit a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any one of these eye cancer symptoms that lead to eye cancer, so the cause may be identified and, if necessary, addressed.
Eye cancer symptoms may include:
- In your area of vision, look for shadows, zigzag lines, or bright spots.
- clouded vision, a black patch in your eye that is growing
- partial or complete vision loss
- bulging of one eye
- a mass on your eyelid or even in your eye that is growing in size
- persistent eye irritation, though this is uncommon, and discomfort in or around your eye.
These eye cancer symptoms aren’t always indicative of malignancy because they can also be brought on by less serious eye problems. But it’s crucial to see a doctor right away to have the symptoms examined.
Melanoma is a form of eye cancer that arises from melanocytes or cells that produce pigment.
Although melanomas typically form in the skin, they can also develop in the eye and other body areas.
Eye melanoma most commonly affects the eyeball. Depending on precisely which area of your eye is damaged, doctors may refer to it as uveal or choroidal melanoma.
The most frequent form of cancer that originates inside the eyeball among adults is intraocular melanoma, while it is still quite uncommon. Compared to melanomas that begin in the eye, skin-based melanomas are far more prevalent.
Melanocytes are the pigment-producing cells that give rise to melanomas. Uveal melanomas are the most common type of melanoma to form in the eye, whereas conjunctival melanomas are rare (conjunctival melanomas).
- i) Uveal Melanomas
The central part of the eyeball is called the uvea. There are 3 primary sections:
- Iris: The colored area of the eye is called the iris (most often blue or brown). It surrounds the pupil, the little opening in the eyeball where light enters.
- Choroid: Blood is supplied towards the retina as well as the front eye by the choroid, the thin, pigmented layer that lines the eyeball.
- Ciliary Body: The eye’s ciliary body houses the muscles that alter the lens’s shape to enable the eye to focus on close-up or far-off things.
Aqueous humor, the clear fluid found in front of the eye between both the cornea and the lens, is also produced by these cells.
- ii) Conjunctivital Melanomas
A thin, transparent layer called the conjunctiva covers the sclera. (The sclera is the thick, white layer that covers the majority of the eyeball’s exterior. It continues into the cornea, which is transparent towards the front of the eye and allows light to pass through.)
These melanomas are very uncommon. They frequently exhibit greater aggression and expand into surrounding structures. They can also move to distant organs including the lungs, liver, and brain in which cancer could become life-threatening since they can travel through the blood and lymph system.