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Cancers in The Eye (Intraocular Cancers)

Cancers in The Eye (Intraocular Cancers)

Cancers in The Eye (Intraocular Cancers) | Dallas | Austin, TexasIntraocular melanoma is a rare cancer that develops from cells that produce melanin in the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. 

It is the most commonly occurring form of eye cancer in adults. It begins in the middle of the three layers of the wall of the eye. The middle layer (where intraocular melanoma develops) is known as the uvea or uveal tract. It has three primary parts: the iris, ciliary body, and choroid.

Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan, provides safe and proven eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding locations.

Risk Factors for Intraocular Melanoma 

Having a lighter complexion, including:

  • Fair skin that burns and freckles easily, does not tan, or tans poorly
  • Green, blue, or other light-colored eyes
  • Older age
  • Being caucasian

Prognosis

Some aspects will impact the prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment solutions. The treatment options will depend on:

  • How the melanoma cells appear under a microscope
  • The thickness and size of the tumor
  • The area of the eye that the tumor is located in (the iris, ciliary body, or choroid)
  • Whether the tumor has spread inside the eye or to other areas in the body
  • Whether there are specific changes in the genes linked to intraocular melanoma
  • The age and overall health of the patient
  • Whether the tumor has recurred following treatment

Overview of Treatment Options

There are various types of treatments for patients with intraocular melanoma. The five types of standard treatments that are used are:

  • Surgery
  • Watchful waiting
  • Radiation therapy
  • Photocoagulation
  • Thermotherapy

New treatment techniques are being assessed in clinical trials. Patients should note that these new treatments for intraocular (uveal) melanoma may lead to side effects. Depending on their condition, patients may want to consider taking part in a clinical trial.

Patients can enter clinical trials prior to, during, or after beginning their cancer treatment. Follow up tests may be required in some cases. 

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for intraocular melanoma. The following types of surgery may be used:

  • Resection: Surgery to eliminate the tumor as well as a small amount of normal tissue surrounding it,
  • Enucleation: Surgery to remove the eye and a portion of the optic nerve. This is undertaken if vision cannot be saved, and the tumor is large, has spread to the optic nerve, or leads to high pressure within the eye. Following surgery, the patient is often fitted with an artificial eye to match the color and size of the other eye.
  • Exenteration: Surgery to remove the eyelid and eye as well as the nerves, muscles, and fat in the eye socket. Following surgery, the patient may be fitted with an artificial eye to match the color and size of the other eye or a facial prosthesis.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy refers to a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other forms of radiation to eliminate cancer cells or prevent them from growing.

Photocoagulation

In photocoagulation, laser light is used to destruct blood vessels that supply nutrients to the tumor, causing the tumor cells to die. Photocoagulation may be used in the treatment of small tumors. It is also known as light coagulation.

Thermotherapy

Thermotherapy refers to the use of heat from a laser to destruct cancer cells and shrink the tumor. Oculoplastic & reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for advanced eye care procedures.

For more information about procedures and treatments at Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics by Ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan. Click here to contact us.

Offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas.

What is Eye Cancer?

What is Eye Cancer? | Dallas | Plano | Austin, TexasCancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow uncontrollably. Cells in almost every part can become malignant and spread out to various areas of the body. An eye cancer begins in the eye. There are multiple types of eye cancers. Understanding more about multiple eye parts and their functions can help in acquiring a better comprehension of eye cancers.

Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan, provides safe and proven eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding communities. 

Types of Eye Cancer

The eye can develop two main types of cancers:

Primary Intraocular Cancers 

These initiate within the eyeball. In adults, melanoma is the most commonly occurring primary intraocular cancer. The second most common type is intraocular lymphoma. These two articles are the main focus of this document.

In children, the most commonly occurring primary intraocular cancer is retinoblastoma (cancer that begins in retinal cells), while medulloepithelioma is the second most common type (but this cancer is very rare). 

Secondary Intraocular Cancers 

These begin in another body area and then reach the eye. This type of cancer is not “eye cancer” in the true sense. But they can actually develop more commonly than primary intraocular cancers. The cancers that spread to the eye most frequently are breast and lung cancers. These cancers often spread to the portion of the eyeball called the uvea. 

Intraocular Melanoma (Melanoma of the Eye)

Intraocular melanoma is the most frequently occurring type of cancer that initiates in the eyeball in adults. But it is still quite rare. Skin melanomas develop much more commonly than intraocular melanomas.

Melanomas develop from the cells that produce pigment called melanocytes. Intraocular melanoma typically develops in the uvea. But such cancers are also called uveal melanomas.

Nearly nine out of ten intraocular melanomas begin in the choroid or ciliary body (parts of the uvea). Choroid cells produce pigment similar to melanocytes in the skin. Therefore, it is unsurprising that choroid cells sometimes develop melanomas.

Various other intraocular melanomas occur in the iris (a part of the uvea). These forms are the easiest for a person (or their eye surgeon) to see as they often begin as a dark spot on the iris that has been existent for many years and then begins to grow. 

These melanomas usually grow fairly slowly. It is rare that they spread to other body areas. These reasons allow individuals with iris melanomas to typically have a good prognosis.

Intraocular melanomas usually consist of two different types of cells which are: 

Spindle cells: Long, narrow cells

Epithelioid cells: Mostly round cells but with some straight contours

Most tumors consist of both types of cells. The outlook is more beneficial if the tumors are mostly spindle cells rather than majorly epithelioid cells.

Oculoplastic & reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for advanced eye care procedures.

For more information about procedures and treatments at Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics by Ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan. Click here to contact us.

Offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas.

What is Benign Essential Blepharospasm (Abnormal Blinking or Spasms of the Eyelids)

What is Benign Essential Blepharospasm | Dallas | Austin, TexasBenign essential blepharospasm refers to a condition characterized by spasms of the eyelids or abnormal blinking. This condition is a form of dystonia, which is a group of movement disorders involving involuntary tensing of the muscles (muscle contractions), rhythmic shaking (tremors), and other uncontrolled movements. 

Benign essential blepharospasm is distinct from the common, temporary eye twitching that may occur due to stress, fatigue, or caffeine. Eventually, patients with this condition may not be able to drive, read, or undertake routine daily tasks as they cannot open their eyes properly.

Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan, provides safe and proven eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding locations.

Symptoms

Benign essential blepharospasm signs and symptoms typically appear in mid to late adulthood and slowly worsen. The initial symptoms of the condition include dry eyes, an increased frequency of blinking, and eye irritation that is made worse by air pollution, wind, sunlight, and other irritants. These symptoms may initiate in one eye but ultimately impact both eyes.  

Upon progressing, the condition may cause spasms of the muscles around the eyes, leading to uncontrolled squinting and winking. People affected by this condition find it increasingly hard to keep their eyes open, which can cause severe vision impairment. 

Over 50 percent of all people with benign essential blepharospasm experience the spread of dystonia beyond the eyes to impact other facial muscles and muscles in other body areas. 

Causes 

The reasons for the occurrence of benign essential blepharospasm are not known, but the condition likely results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Some genetic changes probably increase the chances of developing this disorder, and environmental factors may trigger the symptoms in at-risk individuals.  

How is Blepharospasm Detected?

A physician (usually an ophthalmologist) undertakes a clinical assessment to diagnose blepharospasm. At times, it may be challenging to diagnose. It is usually necessary for the physician to assess information taken from the patient, and the neurological and physical exam to offer the diagnosis. Electrodiagnosis is a vital tool in the diagnosis of blepharospasm.

Treatment

The first line of treatment for the diagnosis of blepharospasm is periodic Botox injections. Botox is a robust drug that obstructs the signals between facial muscles and nerves. 

It is injected into strategic areas in the forehead and eyelids. Botox can greatly minimize or resolve spasms. However, the patient may need to undergo repetitive treatments every three to four months, as the effects of the medication are temporary. 

Botox may not be effective for some patients or have a diminishing response over a span of time. If this is the case, and the spasms lead to significant disruption, then the doctor may recommend surgical myectomy to the patient. 

A surgical myectomy involves the surgical excision of some or all of the orbicularis oculi muscle in the upper lids, which is the muscle that allows the lids to shut. This procedure has been proven to greatly improve blepharospasms. The risks include incomplete eyelid closure, and post-op inflammation and bruising. 

In case there is any sagginess of the upper lids or excess upper eyelid skin, upper eyelid blepharoplasty or ptosis repair may help improve visual impairment. These procedures may also be performed in combination with a partial surgical myectomy.

Current research indicates that myectomy has improved visual disability in 75 to 80 percent of cases of blepharospasm. Oculoplastic & reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for advanced eye care procedures. 

For more information about procedures and treatments at Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics by Ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan. Click here to contact us.

Offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas.

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