Who Can Get Eye Cancer?
Any cancer that begins in the Eye Cancer is referred to as eye cancer. When cells start to multiply uncontrollably, cancer develops. (For more information on how cancer develops and spreads, visit What Is Cancer?)
Melanoma is the most typical kind of eye cancer. However, there are other cancers that impact other eye cell types.
The origin of eye cancer
There are three main components to the eye:
- the eyeball (globe), which has three primary layers and is primarily filled with a jelly-like substance called vitreous humour (the sclera, the uvea, and the retina)
- the sphere (the tissues surrounding the eyeball)
- adnexal (accessory) structures like the tear ducts and eyelids.
Each of these places is where various cancer kinds begin.
Eyes with cancer (intraocular cancers)
Intraocular (inside the eye) malignancies are tumours that affect the eye itself.
Primary intraocular cancers are those that begin in the eye, and secondary intraocular cancers are those that begin elsewhere and spread to the eye.
The most typical primary intraocular malignancies in adults are:
The melanoma (Intraocular melanoma is the focus of our information on eye cancer)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (for more details on primary intraocular lymphoma, see Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)).
The most typical primary intraocular malignancies in children are:
- Retinoblastoma, a malignancy that originates in retinal cells (the light-sensing cells in the back of the eye)
- Medulloblastoma (This is the second most common,but is still extremely rare.)
- Retinoblastoma discusses these paediatric malignancies.
Although they are not technically “eye cancers,” secondary intraocular malignancies—cancers that originate elsewhere in the body and subsequently spread to the eye—are more frequent than primary intraocular cancers. Breast and lung cancers are the most frequent tumours that spread to the eye. melanoma inside the eye (melanoma of the eye)
The most frequent type of cancer that originates inside the eyeball in adults is intraocular melanoma, while it is still quite uncommon. Melanomas arise from pigment-producing cells call melanocytes, and skin-base melanomas are significantly more common than eye-base melanomas. Iris melanomas
The central layer of the eyeball is call the uvea. There are 3 primary sections:
The coloured portion of the eye is called the iris (most often blue or brown). It encircles the pupil, the tiny aperture in the eyeball through which light enters.
- The retina and the front of the eye are nourishe with blood by the choroid, a thin, pigment layer lining the eyeball.
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. Additionally, it contains cells that produce aqueous humour, a clear fluid that Uveal melanomas usually move to the liver through the blood.
Cancers of the adnexa and orbit
The tissues encircling the eyeball make up the orbit. These include the nerves that are connect to the eye and the muscles that move the eyeball in various directions. Orbital malignancies are tumours of these tissues.
The glands that produce tears and the eyelids are adnexal (accessory) structures. Adnexal malignancies are tumours that manifest themselves in these tissues.
Similar to tumours in other regions of the body, the orbit and adnexa around the eyeball grow from tissues like muscle, nerve, and skin. For instance:
- Skin tumours typically cause eyelid cancers. (View Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancer or Melanoma Skin Cancer.)
- Rhabdomyosarcoma is a malignancy that affects the muscles of the eyes.
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma discusses lymphomas that begin in the eye.
Various eye cancers
Tumours affecting the eyes
The most frequent primary intraocular eye malignancy in adults is uveal melanoma. About 5% of all melanoma cases are cause by it. The cornea and sclera (the white of the eye) are in front of the uvea (the window at the front of the eye). The choroid, also known as the posterior uvea, is made up of three parts: the iris, the colour region of the eye; the ciliary body, a ring of tissue with muscle fibres that alters the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens (the back part of the eye under the retina).
Retinoblastoma is a malignancy of the retina, a layer of tissue in the eye that is sensitive to light. It is the most typical malignant tumour that begins in the eye in youngsters. Most of these occurrences affect children under two, and it typically happens before the age of five. Three percent of childhood malignancies are cause by the illness. Visit find out more, go to our page on retinoblastoma.
The several elements that comprise the eye and its surroundings include:
Eyeball: The choroid, ciliary body, iris, and retina are among the structures inside the eye where cancer can form.
Iris: The eye’s colourful region. The centre of the iris contains the pupil, a tiny aperture that allows light to enter the eye.
Choroid: A thin layer that surrounds the eyeball and supplies blood to the eye
The ciliary body, which helps the eye focus, is made up of cells that start the aqueous humour (the clear liquid in front of the eye) and eye muscles.
The layer of retinal cells is locate in the rear of the eye. The optic nerve links the retina to the brain. We can see images thanks to its light-sensitive cells. Light enters the eye and travels through the lens. This creates an image on the retina, which is then transmit to the brain via the optic nerve.
Orbit: Vital nerves, including the optic nerve, as well as the eye’s moveable muscles are locate in the area surrounding and behind the eye, which is surround by bony walls.
Eyelid: Eyelid tumours may develop on the outer layer of the eyelid’s skin or on its inner layer (tarsus and conjunctiva).
Conjunctiva: The eye’s external layer that also covers the inner surface of the eyelid
Lacrimal gland: This gland, which produces tears, is located in the orbit’s upper outer quadrant.
Lacrimal sac/duct: This organ, which drains tears, is located close to the nose in the inner lower quadrant of the orbit.
What are the risk factors for eye cancer?
Anything that raises your probability of developing the disease is consider a risk factor for eye cancer. There are some things that seem to make it more likely that you’ll develop cancer in your eye, on your eyelid, or in your orbit.
These elements consist of
- The pale complexion and/or blue eyes
- Melanomas or carcinomas on your eyelid may be more likely if you spend time in the sun or on a tanning bed.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) exposure and other viruses may raise the risk of conjunctival squamous cell cancer.
- An excess of odd moles is a defining feature of the dysplastic nevus syndrome, formerly known as the atypical mole and melanoma syndrome (AMS).
These risk factors do not always result in ocular cancer. However, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare professional about them if you have risk factors and symptoms of eye cancer.
To find out more, click here:
- Cancer of the eye symptoms
- Diagnosis of eye cancer
- Treatment for eye cancer