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Eye Cancer Treatment

What is Eye Cancer? What are the effects of it?

Eye cancer refers to any cancerous growth that develops within various eye parts. It can originate in the eye itself (primary eye cancer) or spread to the eye from other parts of the body (secondary or metastatic cancer). The treatment of eye cancer varies based on the type, location, and stage of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health. With advancements in medical technology and specialized care, Eye Cancer treatment in India has seen significant progress, providing patients with access to various effective treatment options.

Types of Eye Cancer

Eye cancer can occur in different parts of the eye, and its types include:

  1. Uveal Melanoma: The most common type of eye cancer in adults, originating in the iris, ciliary body, or choroid, which are parts of the uvea.
  2. Retinoblastoma: This is the most common type of eye cancer in children and originates in the retina, the light-detecting part of the eye.
  3. Conjunctival Melanoma: Cancer that begins in the conjunctiva, the membrane covering the white part of the eye and the inner eyelids.

Symptoms of Eye Cancer

The symptoms of eye cancer can vary but may include:

  • Blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Visible masses on the eye or changes in the shape of the pupil
  • Pain in or around the eye (rare in eye cancers)
  • Change in the appearance of the eye, such as a growing dark spot on the iris
  • Bulging of one eye
  • Loss of peripheral vision

Effects of Eye Cancer

The effects of eye cancer can be both physical and psychological:

1. Visual Impairment or Loss:

Eye cancer can lead to partial or complete loss of vision in the affected eye, depending on the location and size of the tumor. This can significantly affect a person’s quality of life and ability to perform daily tasks.

2. Physical Discomfort or Pain:

While eye cancer itself is often not painful, it can cause discomfort, especially if it leads to increased pressure within the eye or if it affects surrounding tissues.

3. Cosmetic Changes:

Large tumors may cause noticeable bulging of the eye, which can be distressing and may lead to social or psychological impacts.

4. Secondary Effects:

The cancer might spread to other parts of the body, particularly in cases of melanoma, which can metastasize to other organs, leading to further health complications.

5. Psychological Impact:

The diagnosis and treatment of eye cancer can cause significant emotional stress and anxiety, impacting mental health and requiring psychological support and counseling.

Eye Cancer Treatment in India

1. Surgical Treatments:

Surgery is often a primary treatment for eye cancer, especially for tumors confined to specific parts of the eye. Surgical options may include:

  • Enucleation: Removal of the entire eye, used when the tumor is large or the cancer has spread within the eye.
  • Iridectomy, Iridocyclectomy, or Choroidectomy: These procedures involve removing part of the iris, the ciliary body, or the choroid when the tumor is small and confined.

2. Radiation Therapy:

Radiation therapy is another cornerstone of eye cancer treatment, used either alone or in combination with surgery. Techniques include:

  • Plaque Brachytherapy: A small radioactive disc, or plaque, is temporarily attached to the outside of the eyeball near the tumor.
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy: This approach is less commonly used for eye cancer due to the risk of more significant side effects.

3. Laser Therapy:

Laser therapy, such as transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT), uses a laser to destroy cancerous cells. It is often used for small tumors or in conjunction with radiation therapy.

4. Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is used primarily for retinoblastoma, typically in combination with other treatments. It may be administered systemically or directly into the eye (intra-arterial chemotherapy).

5. Targeted Therapy and Immunotherapy:

For certain types of eye cancer, such as those that have spread or are found to be resistant to traditional treatments, targeted therapies and immunotherapy offer new hope and are currently the subject of ongoing research and clinical trials.

Conclusion

Eye cancer, while rare, can lead to severe outcomes without prompt and effective treatment. In India, the availability of advanced medical technology, skilled specialists, and comprehensive care facilities ensures that patients diagnosed with eye cancer have access to high-quality care. Continued advancements in eye cancer research and treatment methods are expected to improve outcomes further, emphasizing the importance of early detection and specialized care in managing this challenging disease.