Intraocular Melanoma

Melanoma Intravenous Fluorescein Angiography

Melanoma Intravenous Fluorescein Angiography

Intraocular melanoma is a condition wherein malignant cancer cells form in the eye tissues. They develop from melanocytes, which are cells responsible for creating pigments. Growth of intraocular melanoma usually takes place in the uvea, which is the reason why the condition is sometimes referred to as uveal melanoma.

The uvea is the middle layer of the eye that’s situated in between the sclera (white area of the eye) and retina (light-sensitive inner lining of the eye that’s responsible for sending images to the brain). It is consisted of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid.

Intraocular melanoma is the most common eye cancer in adults.

Who is at Risk for Intraocular Melanoma

There are certain risk factors that increases an individual’s likelihood of developing intraocular melanoma. These are:

  • Age – Older individuals are more prone to intraocular melanoma.
  • Complexion – Individuals who have fair skin that burns easily are at greater risk for developing the disease. The same goes for people who have light-colored eyes.
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight – Being under the sun or exposed to artificial sunlight similar to tanning beds for long periods of time can increase a person’s risk.
  • Being white

Signs and Symptoms

Intraocular melanoma may not manifest early signs nor symptoms, but it can be detected during an eye examination. Typically, a doctor can see if a patient has intraocular melanoma through looking into the eye of a patient during a dilated eye exam.

The following are also possible signs of intraocular melanoma:

  • Blurred or changes in vision
  • Floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Dark spot in the iris
  • Size or shape changes in the pupil
  • Altered eyeball position in the socket

It’s important to note that the symptoms listed above can also signal other eye conditions. If you’re manifesting any of these signs, it may be a sign if intraocular melanoma or it could be something else. The only way to be sure is to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing intraocular melanoma can be done through different treatments such as physical exam and medical history assessment, eye examinations, and ultrasound of the eye.

Biopsy of the tumor may also be done, but it’s rarely recommended. It is done to determine whether the growth is benign or malignant. Other than that, it can be performed in order to gather more information needed for prognosis and prescribing treatment.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend no initial treatment, but will advise regular monitoring of the tumor. If the condition progresses and symptoms change, treatment may then be prescribed.

Treatment options for intraocular melanoma includes surgery, radiation therapy, photocoagulation, and thermotherapy.

What to do if you think you have Intraocular Melanoma

If you suspect that you have intraocular melanoma, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Early detection and proper treatment is key in battling the disease and maintaining good quality of life despite the condition.

Arizona Retinal Specialists is an organization that promotes eye health through treatments that address common problems and advanced conditions alike, which includes intraocular melanoma. Schedule an appointment with us today.