Doctors try to determine the extent of cancer spread after someone has been diagnosed with eye melanoma. This process is referred to as staging. Stage of cancer helps in describing the extent of its spread within the body. Identifying the present stage of eye melanoma by an ophthalmologist or an eye doctor helps in determining an appropriate treatment plan.
Advanced stages of cancer may require a surgery or enucleation for removing the tumor. You may need reconstructive surgery afterwards by an experienced surgeon. During your consultation process, your eye surgeon will discuss all your treatment options.
Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan, provides advanced eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding locations.
AJCC TNM Staging System
The TNM (tumor, node, and metastasis) model is prescribed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and is a commonly used staging system for eye melanoma. It is based on three key principles:
- T (size and extent of the tumor) – Has the eye tumor invaded nearby structures?
- N (spread to lymph nodes) – Has it spread to ear and neck lymph nodes? Has it grown into other parts of the eye?
- M (metastasis to distant body parts) – Has it spread to the liver or other body parts?
Certain letters and numbers may appear after T, N, and M to offer more information about these factors. Higher letters and numbers represent advanced cancer stages.
T Factor for Iris Melanoma
- T0: Zero evidence of primary tumor
- T1: Tumor restricted to the iris
- T1a: Tumor touches less than ¼ portion or ¼ of the iris
- T1b: Tumor touches more than ¼ portion of the iris
- T1c: Tumor is placing pressure on the eye (glaucoma) but is restricted to the iris
- T2: Tumor has spread to choroid or ciliary body
- T2a: Tumor spread to ciliary body
- T2b: Tumor spread to both choroid and ciliary body
- T2c: Tumor spread to choroid and/or ciliary body and causing glaucoma
- T3: Tumor spread to choroid and/or ciliary body as well as sclera
- T4: Tumor extends outside the eyeball
- T4a: Tumor outside the eyeball measures 5mm or less
- T4b: Tumor outside the eyeball measures greater than 5mm
N Factor for Iris, Choroidal and Ciliary Body Melanoma
- NX: Lymph nodes can’t be assessed
- N0: Tumor has not grown into lymph nodes
- N1: Small cancer deposits spread to parts of the eye or nearby lymph nodes
- N1a: Cancer spread to lymph nodes
- N1b: Tumor not spread to lymph nodes, but there are small cancer deposits in the eye
M Factor for Iris, Choroidal and Ciliary Body Melanoma
- M0: Tumor not spread to other distant body parts
- M1: Eye melanoma has spread to distant body parts
- M1a: Largest tumor area is 3 cm or less
- M1b: Largest tumor area is from 3.1 to 8 cm across
- M1c: Largest tumor area is more than 8 cm across
Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for safe and proven eye care treatments.
Contact Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics and Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan Today to Schedule an Appointment
Offices in Dallas, Plano and Austin, Texas.