Although melanomas account for only about one percent of all skin cancers, they cause the vast majority of skin cancer deaths, reports the Mayo Clinic. Since the eyes also have melanin-producing cells, melanomas can also develop there. In most cases, such eye melanoma develops in the part of the eye that cannot be seen when looking in the mirror. In addition, eye melanoma does not usually cause early signs or symptoms, so that it often remains undetected for a long time.
Did you know that melanoma can also occur in the eye? In a current article, the Mayo Clinic (USA) provides information about eye melanoma, its risk factors, symptoms, consequences and possible treatment approaches.
Malignant melanomas, known as black skin cancer, develop from the cells that produce melanin and these are also found in our eyes. Corresponding eye melanomas can be symptom-free for a long time and are usually not visible from the outside.
Possible indications of an eye melanoma
Melanoma in the eye – what are the signs?
Although there are usually no symptoms in the early stages of an eye melanoma, according to the Mayo Clinic, there are symptoms that can indicate the disease. These include in particular:
If you should experience such symptoms, a medical examination is urgently required. “Sudden changes in your vision signal an emergency, so seek immediate help in such situations,” Mayo Clinic adds.
Eye melanoma usually not visible
Most commonly, an eye melanoma develops in the cells of the middle layer of the eye, the uvea, consisting of:
All three areas of the uvea can be affected by a melamon. In addition, in very rare cases an eye melanoma can also occur on the conjunctiva, in the eye socket and on the eyelid, reports the Mayo Clinic.
According to the clinic, the treatment options depend on the location and size of the eye melanoma, but also, for example, on the general health of the affected person. Radiation, laser therapy and surgical removal of part or all of the affected eye are possible. Although the treatment of small ocular melanomas does not sometimes impair vision, the treatment of large ocular melanomas usually causes a certain loss of vision.
In addition to loss of vision, the Mayo Clinic reports that in the worst case scenario, eye melanoma can metastasize, which can have life-threatening consequences. Therefore, possible indications of this special form of cancer should be taken extremely seriously and medical treatment should be initiated at an early stage. (fp)
Although the concrete causes of eye melanoma remain unclear, some risk factors are known, such as
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