Eye cancer is rare compared to other cancers, but when it occurs, intraocular melanoma is the most common type. If you have intraocular melanoma, you need the skill, experience, and compassion of intraocular melanoma specialists at Retina Consultants of Austin. With offices in Austin, Lakeway, Marble Falls, and Round Rock, Texas, they accurately diagnose intraocular melanoma, determine its size, and make personalized treatment recommendations that are best for your unique needs. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online today.
Intraocular melanoma is cancer that develops inside your eye in cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are common in your skin, where they produce the pigment that makes you tan. Many intraocular melanomas occur when skin cancer (melanoma) spreads to your eye.
In your eye, melanocytes are found in the uvea, the middle layer of the eyeball wall. The uvea has three parts: the iris and ciliary body in the front of your eye, and the choroid that runs through the wall behind the retina. Cancer can develop in any part, but it most often affects the choroid.
In the early stages, you won’t experience any symptoms. As the tumor grows, you may:
Intraocular melanoma rarely occurs in your iris, but if that’s where it’s located, you may see dark spots on the iris.
The providers at Retina Consultants of Austin can diagnose most cases of intraocular melanoma during a comprehensive eye exam. If there’s any suspicion, they perform a fine needle biopsy to withdraw a small sample of tissue and look at it under a microscope.
Your provider may recommend genetic testing to identify the unique makeup of the tumor. You also need a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan to determine the tumor’s size, if the eye cancer metastasized to your body, and estimate how fast it may spread.
If your tumor is small and growing slowly, your provider at Retina Consultants of Austin may recommend closely monitoring it and starting treatment only if it grows at a faster pace.
Once you decide it’s time for treatment, your provider recommends the best treatment based on the tumor’s size and location. Your options include:
If you have advanced intraocular melanoma, the best option may be removing the eye. With today’s technology, artificial eyes look natural and move like a live eye.
If you need help for intraocular melanoma, call Retina Consultants of Austin or schedule an appointment online right away.