Cancer from A to Z

Types of cancer, how to prevent them, diagnosis and treatment.


Eye Cancer

Eye cancer is any sort of tumor that affects the various structures of the eye. Eye cancers can affect the eye itself, the eyelids and surrounding skin, the orbit (the opening in the skull that houses the eye) and the retina. Melanoma and lymphoma can occur in the eye area, and some cancers can spread to the eye from other areas of the body.

Certain types of eye cancer, such as retinoblastoma, affect young children, while other types can occur at any age. 

Cancers of the Eyelid
Basal Cell Carcinoma: Over 90% of all cancerous eyelid tumors are basal cell carcinomas (BCCA). BCCA is a cancerous growth of skin tissue, specifically basal cells, and usually appears as small, firm, raised lumps with a lesion in the center. The lower eyelids are involved in over 70% of cases, followed by the corner of the eye, upper eyelid and the side corner of the eye.

This type of eye cancer can cause significant damage to the affected area, and it can recur (come back) to the same area or nearby if it is removed inadequately. However, these tumors generally do not spread to lymph nodes or distant organs.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Although this form of skin cancer occurs less often than basal cell carcinoma, it is more aggressive. It can spread to nearby lymph nodes and other parts of the body. The main treatment of these tumors is surgical removal. Radiation therapy or other treatments may be used if a large area is affected or if the cancerous area cannot be fully removed. Also, it may be used if there are other high-risk features, such as nerve involvement.

Malignant melanoma of the eyelid skin: This type of skin cancer is fairly rare and accounts for about 1% of all eyelid cancers. These lesions are usually brown or pigmented, can grow, and change in size with time, at which point they should be completely removed.

Meibomian Gland Carcinoma: also known as sebaceous gland or “sebaceous cell” carcinoma, this rare type of eye cancer mainly affects the meibomian glands of the eyelids. These are glands that normally produce the oily layer of the tear film, the liquid layer that covers the eye. Meibomian gland carcinoma, also referred to as sebaceous cell carcinoma, can be mistaken with some non-cancerous conditions like a chalazion, a small cyst more commonly known as a “sty”. If a “sty” does not heal with medical treatment or surgical drainage, a biopsy should be performed to evaluate whether it is meibomian gland carcinoma.

Ocular Melanomas
Uveal Melanoma: A rare eye cancer that develops within a structure in the eye called the uvea. The uvea contains pigment (color) producing cells called melanocytes. When these cells become cancerous, the cancer is called melanoma. The uvea is divided into three parts: the iris, ciliary body, and the choroid. The most common location for this type of cancer to develop is the choroid (choroidal melanoma), which is the back part of the eye under the retina. 

Individuals may not have any symptoms at the time of diagnosis. Some may experience loss of vision, blurry vision, flashes and floaters (an object in the field of vision).

Conjunctival Melanoma: A rare eye cancer of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane lining of the eyelid. While melanoma is most commonly found on the skin, it can also occur inside the eye as well as on the surface of the eye and eyelids.

Conjunctival melanomas usually develop as a pigmented (dark) area on the conjunctiva. The cancer may also arise from a freckle or nevus on the conjunctiva or can appear on healthy tissue.


At this moment there are no events of Eye Cancer


At the moment there are no courses of Eye Cancer

Clinical trials
Ensayo de fase 1a/2a, abierto y multicéntrico, para investigar la seguridad, tolerabilidad y actividad antitumoral de dosis repetidas de Sym015, una mezcla de anticuerpos monoclonales dirigida frente al receptor MET, en pacientes con tumores malignos sólidos en fase avanzada
Estudio fase IIIB, prospectivo, randomizado, abierto que evalúa la eficacia y seguridad de Heparina/Edoxaban versus Dalteparina en tromboembolismo venoso asociado con cáncer.
Tumores sólidos. Antiemesis Estudio fase III, multicéntrico, aleatorizado, doble ciego, con control activo para evaluar la seguridad y eficacia de Rolapitant en la prevención de náuseas y vómitos por la quimioterapia (NVIQ) en pacientes que reciben quimioterapia altamente emética (QAE). A phase III, multicenter, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of the safety and efficacy of Rolapitant for the treatment of Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in subjects receiving highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy (HEC)
Ensayo clínico en fase I de determinación de dosis del antiangiogénico multidiana Dovitinib (TKI258) más paclitaxel en pacientes con tumores sólidos.

Uveal Melanoma
Uveal melanoma is usually found during a routine eye exam, when a medical doctor looks inside the eye using a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope. Once uveal melanoma is found, more tests will be done to find out what kind of tumor it is and whether cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. Additional testing may include:

  • Eye ultrasound: sound waves are used to create a picture
  • Eye angiogram: contrast material is injected while pictures are taken
  • Eye photographs: pictures of the eye
  • Computerized Tomography Scan (CT scan): an x-ray and a computer are used to create a detailed, two or three-dimensional picture
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): magnetic fields and radio (sound) waves are used to create computerized images
  • Blood tests: blood is drawn and sent to a lab for evaluation

Conjunctival Melanoma
This type of melanoma can be diagnosed with an eye examination. A diagnosis is confirmed by performing a biopsy: removal of cells or tissue from a tumor for testing purposes.

The choice of treatment depends on where the cancer is in the eye, how large the tumor is (tumor dimensions) how far it has spread, and the patient’s general health and age. Not all patients are cured with standard therapy and some standard treatments may have more side effects than others. Some patients may benefit from a combination of therapies. Patients may want to consider participating in a clinical trial and should discuss this option with their doctor.

Treatment options include:

  • Observation: small lesions may be monitored by the doctor over months or years
  • Laser treatment: a laser is used to kill tumor cells
  • Radiation Therapy: radiation is used to kill tumor cells
  • Enucleation: in advanced cases, surgery to remove the eye is performed
  • Excision: surgical removal of the tumor, leaving the eye intact

Cancers of the Eyelid

Malignant melanoma: Treatment is the same as malignant melanoma in other parts of the skin. Complete surgical removal of these tumors with 5 to 10 millimeter margins is recommended. A biopsy will be performed to determine the tumor thickness and allows the doctor to evaluate how much tissue will need to be removed from the affected area. Thicker tumors have a higher chance of recurring locally and spreading to other parts of the body. The patient will need to have periodic chest X-rays and other lab tests to evaluate whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Meibomian gland carcinoma: Treatment involves surgical removal of the involved area of the eyelid and conjunctiva. Patients will also be monitored for regional (local) lymph node or distant metastasis. After the cancer is removed, reconstructive surgery can be performed and usually leads to acceptable functional and cosmetic outcomes. This is best done by an ophthalmic plastic surgeon, also known as an oculoplastic surgeon. This type of surgeon is an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) who has special training in plastic surgery of the eyelids, the tissues around the eye, the eye’s duct and drainage system, and the orbital area – the bone cavity behind the eye.

Ocular Melanomas

Conjunctival melanomas: are treated with surgical removal followed by cryotherapy the use of extreme cold to destroy cancer cells. Good vision is often preserved in the affected eye. Sometimes topical chemotherapyis used after surgery to prevent the melanoma from coming back.

Conjunctival melanomas have a tendency to come back locally (on the surface of the eye) and often require removal of the affected areas of the eye or tissue around the eye. Up to 20% of patients may develop regional (local) lymph node involvement, usually in the parotid (salivary gland) and neck area.

Uveal melanomas: Enucleation (removal of the eye leaving the ocular adnexal structures including the extraocular muscles intact) is an option, particularly for larger tumors. Radioactive plaques are also an alternative for small to medium sized tumors. The use of some forms of laser or proton beam therapy may also be indicated in some cases.

It is recommended that patients with uveal melanomas, regardless of their local treatment modality, be monitored frequently to look for evidence of local recurrence or distant metastasis. It is estimated that 20-50% of patients develop distant metastasis (usually to the liver) in their lifetime.