What is Eye Cancer? (Definition)
According to the National Institutes of Health, cancer of the eye can affect most of the eye, including the outer parts, such as the eyelid, which are made up of muscles, skin and nerves. If the cancer starts inside the eyeball it’s called intraocular cancer. The most common intraocular cancers in adults are melanoma and lymphoma. The most common eye cancer in children is retinoblastoma, which starts in the cells of the retina. Cancer can also spread to the eye from other parts of the body.
According to the National Cancer Institute, Intraocular melanoma is a rare disease in which cancer forms in melanocytes in the eye. Melanocytes are cells that make melanin (the pigment that gives skin and eyes their color). Intraocular melanoma begins in the uvea. The uvea has three parts. The iris is the colored area at the front of the eye. The ciliary body is a ring of muscle tissue that changes the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens. The choroid is a layer of blood vessels that brings oxygen and nutrients to the eye. Most intraocular melanomas begin in the choroid.
Retinoblastoma is a rare childhood cancer in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the retina. The retina is a thin layer of nerve tissue that lines the inside of the back of the eye and is sensitive to light. The retina senses light and sends a message by way of the optic nerve to the brain, in order for you to see. Retinoblastoma can occur in one or both eyes and sometimes occurs in the area around the eye. It rarely spreads to other parts of the body. Treatment depends on whether the cancer is in one or both eyes or has spread outside the eye and how likely it is that vision can be saved.
See below for updated news and information regarding eye cancer including new medical research, treatment options and advancements.
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