In honor of May being Melanoma Awareness Month, we’d like to remind you that melanoma can also develop in the eye and that with all forms of melanoma, early detection is vital. Unlike skin melanoma, the only way to detect ocular melanoma (unless it’s on the lids – which is extremely rare), is by dilated eye exams. Due to it’s hidden presence inside the eye, it may not be detected until late.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there are over 3,000 new cases of eye cancer every year in the United States. While people of all ages are at risk for eye cancer, the risk increases as you get older. The most important steps you can take towards early intervention is by monthly self-examinations and scheduling annual check-ups with your ophthalmologist.
Melanoma of the eye can sometimes be detected through symptoms such as blurry or spotty vision, bulging of the eye, or a change in the size or shape of the pupil. These symptoms, however, could be unrelated to melanoma or only develop after the cancer becomes more advanced. We recommend an examination of the eye as the most important step in diagnosing melanoma of the eye. If you are experiencing any abnormalities in your vision or the appearance of your eye, give us a call to schedule an appointment immediately.
Learn more about eye cancers and symptoms to watch for from the American Cancer Society.