Ocular tumors are tumors that can appear on the eyelids, retina, conjunctiva or choroid inside the eye or in its orbit. Tumors in the eye, and in its orbit, can affect different structures and can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant. Ocular tumors not only threaten vision, but they are life threatening as well.
The causes of most intraocular tumors are unclear but some tumors are known to be passed on to newborns from birth.
The main intraocular tumors include Melanoma, Retinoblastoma and Choroidal Hemangioma.
• Melanoma: Beginning with the uncontrollable growth of pigment containing cells, called melanocytes, Melanoma is the most common intraocular cancer affecting adults.
• Choroidal Hemangioma: This is a benign tumor in which there is no risk of development of a secondary malignant growth at a distant location in body. However, many choroidal hemangioma cause no symptoms at all and are found during routine eye examinations.
• Retinoblastoma: Affecting children, Retinoblastoma is an aggressive malignant eye tumor that rapidly occurs from the immature cells of the light detecting tissue of the eye.
Affecting the delicate locations in the eye, early diagnosis of intraocular tumors is critical in their treatment, since they cannot be prevented. To treat intraocular tumors, ophthalmologists might use laser therapy or radiotherapy.
Once treated, the individual should ensure routine eye check-ups to prevent malignant lesions from recurring.