Ocular Oncology

What Is Cancer of the Eye?

Cancer refers to a group of diseases marked by uncontrolled cell growth. These cancer cells displace normal cells and interrupt their function. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body.

Types of Cancers

Cancers of the eye are rare but they can take many forms:

  • External diseases-Cancers of the eyelids and surface of the eye. These include external lesions such as conjunctival tumors. Skin cancer commonly occurs on the eyelids.
  • Intraocular diseases-Cancers within the eye. These may be present as uveal tumors of the iris, choroid or ciliary body – or, in childhood, as retinal tumors.
  • Orbital diseases-Cancers in areas surrounding the eye. These lesions include vascular and inflammatory tumors.
    The most frequently treated adult intraocular cancer is choroidal melanoma. Spread of cancer from other parts of the body.

How is Cancer of the Eye diagnosed?

Diagnosing cancer of the eye begins with a dilated exam. If cancer is suspected, they may recommend more tests. These may include:


We approach treating ocular cancer with two goals: to cure the disease and to preserve as much vision as possible. But determining the best treatment for cancer of the eye depends upon a number of factors.
The nature of the diagnosis dictates the appropriate treatment. Determining the best treatment for ocular oncology depends upon a number of factors. The patient’s needs, tumor type, location, size, thickness and its natural history with and without therapy all play a role. The following options are available:

  • Observation is sometimes called for because it is necessary to study the tumor for developments before suggesting a course of action.
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Transpupillary thermal therapy (TTT)
  • Laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Tumor removal
  • Removal of the eye is sometimes unavoidable. But it is always the last resort.


Patient safety is our top priority. If you are having flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath please DO NOT VISIT US at this time and contact your local health provider.

To ensure your health is protected, we are limiting the number of people in our offices. We are asking that ONLY PATIENTS enter our office. Visitors and/or support persons should remain in the car or other location. If the visitor or support person must be present, screening questions will be asked and if positive responses are received the visitor/ support person will not be allowed in the office.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

For ongoing updates and recommendations, please visit the following websites: Centers For Disease Control (cdc.gov), American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org), World Health Organization (who.int)