Melanoma May Start in the Eye

Excessive amounts of sunbathing can lead to skin cancer, as many know today. But few people know that this type of tumor may develop directly in the eye.


When an Englishwoman Joanne Hill went to an ophthalmologist for a routine vision check, she expected to be prescribed spectacles. And such a recommendation seemed natural to the woman at the age of 42. By the time she had been suffering the “tires eyes syndrome” for a few weeks but instead of a referral to the optics she received an advice to undergo medical examination immediately – the doctor noticed a strange shadow in the lower right corner of the right eye.

The shocked woman was told that it was, most likely, a freckle on the eyeball – a common phenomenon that occurs as a result of exposure to sunlight. But the reality was much worse. The woman was diagnosed with ocular melanoma – tumor, which has grown inside the eye. Initially it is a mole, which can be benign or malignant.

A few months later, a specialist eye-cancer team at the Ocular Oncology Unit in Liverpool Hospital, confirmed that the tumor was malignant, because during that period it changed in form and color. They recommended starting treatment immediately.

The cause of the disease is a too intense contact with sunlight or the use of tanning beds. Those at risk include women after 50.
As a prevention of ocular melanoma, doctors recommend wearing quality sunglasses that block all UV rays. In order not to cause damage to Joanne’s eyesight, doctors set a radioactive ruthenium disk next to the damaged area of ​​the eye, and a week later removed it. After the destruction of all cancer cells, a long recovery process began.

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