Although fairly rare, intraocular melanoma (cancer within the eyeball) is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in adults of all ages. Nearly all intraocular melanomas originate in parts of the uvea (particularly the iris) where cells produce the same pigment as your skin. Your Las Vegas optometrist can detect intraocular melanoma during an eye exam. Starting out as an opaque spot on your iris, intraocular melanoma grows very slowly over the years and does not spread like other cancers.
The prognosis for people diagnosed with iris melanoma is good. If treatment is needed, your Las Vegas eye doctor may recommend radiotherapy or minor surgery to remove the cancer. Signs of possible eyelid cancer include patches of skin that resemble slow-to-heal sores or appear raised, shiny, brownish or pearly. Eyelid cancer may also promote loss of eyelashes and cause eyelid skin to thicken or swell. Excisional biopsy, Mohs' surgery or cryosurgery are a few options available to treat eyelid cancer.
Some people are more prone to developing eye or eyelid cancer because of genetics, existing health conditions or lifestyle choices. Extended and continuous exposure to sunlight and tanning beds, having fair, pale skin that burns easily when exposed to UV rays or having green or blue eyes are the primary risk factors. Wearing UV eye protection eye wear is strongly recommended for people with these physical characteristics.
People at risk for developing another type of eye cancer called primary intraocular lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) are those who have autoimmune diseases (arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus), take medications to prevent organ rejection following a transplant or have syndromes that compromise their immune system functioning.
Wearing sunscreen formulated for the eyelids and eye area (SPF 15+), wearing sunglasses when spending more than 20 minutes in sunlight or wearing a wide-brimmed hat to shade your eyes are the best ways to reduce the risk of eyelid/eye cancer. Your UV eye protection eye wear lenses should block at least 99 percent of UVB and UVA radiation. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses all year long also prevents the sun's UV light from damaging your eyes and promoting cataract development or macular degeneration.
Your independent optometrists inside Lens Crafters Drs. Kopolow and Girisgen urge you to get an annual Las Vegas eye exam for detecting eyelid or eye cancer in their earliest stages. For more information about UV eye protection eye wear, contact us at Lens Crafters today at 702-341-7254.