Eye melanoma has several treatment options. Primary factors involved in determining the right course of treatment include spread of cancer, location of tumor, and the likelihood of saving the eye and vision. You should speak with an eye doctor to understand the various types of eye melanoma and respective treatment options.
Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan, provides advanced eye care procedures to patients in Plano, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding communities.
Treatment for choroidal melanoma can be categorized into:
Your ophthalmologist will usually be the first person to diagnose this condition. You will need to speak with an oculoplastic& reconstructive surgeon about treatment options. Few popular options are:
- Laser therapy involving transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT). This is usually performed with brachytherapy.
- Radiation therapy including brachytherapy (plaque therapy), stereotactic radiation therapy, or proton beam therapy.
- Surgery for removing the tumor. In some cases, extensive surgery may be required involving enucleation or removing the entire eye. You may require reconstructive surgery by a board certified plastic surgeon afterwards.
These are usually treated the same way small tumors are approached. It is best to discuss with your surgeon the best course of treatment. You can choose between laser therapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Sometimes, laser therapy is conducted along with radiation therapy, such as brachytherapy.
Large sized choroidal melanoma is usually treated with radiation. Stereotactic radiation therapy and proton beam therapy is usually used before any other treatment. If radiation doesn’t work, other therapy options with lasers or a surgery may be considered.
Generally, enucleation or removal of the entire eye is performed by most surgeons for removing large melanomas. This is usually the case where radiation is not an option. Enucleation surgery may be considered in patients where the cancer has spread to more than 50% of the eye orbit and causes significant pain. Surgery is recommended in cases where vision loss has already occurred too.
Your doctor may consider removing other eye structures in the eye socket in cases where the cancer has spread to outside the eye. This includes part of the eyelid or eye muscles.
Iris melanoma or cancer in the colored part of the eye is usually slow-growing and small in size. Patients with early stage iris melanoma are recommended to watch the tumor closely to see if it grows. The tumor is monitored with a series of special photographs. Radiation therapy or surgery (most common) can be used if the cancer grows.
Conjunctival melanoma is rare, but aggressive. It spreads faster than most uveal melanomas and can affect local structures in the eye orbit. In some cases, it can spread to distant organs, like the lungs and liver. In this case, the situation becomes life-threatening.
Surgery-focused treatment is used in conjunctival melanoma to remove the tumor completely. Adjuvant treatment options may include topical chemotherapy with Mitomycin-C or interferon and radiation therapy. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Plano, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for safe and proven eye care treatments.
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