Eye Cancer Treatment

Eye Cancer Treatment

Eye cancer treatment options are available for two different types of cancer that can form in the eye. The first, called primary intraocular cancer, is mainly caused by melanoma or lymphoma that starts inside of the eyeball. The other type of eye cancer is referred to as secondary intraocular cancer, which really is not a ‘true’ eye cancer because it develops from other cancers such as breast and lung cancers that spread to the eye.

Eye cancer is a pretty uncommon type of cancer and occurs mostly in men and women older than 50 years old. Approximately 2,400 new cases of eye and orbit cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in 2010. Secondary eye cancers actually are more common than primacy eye cancer.

Eye cancer treatment can include one or more of the following:

Surgery for Eye Cancer Treatment
There are several types of surgery that are performed to treat intraocular melanomas. Surgery is not used for intraocular lymphomas.
Iridectomy Eye Cancer Treatment
An iridectomy, which removes part of the iris, is performed when the melanoma in the iris is very small. An iridotrabeculectomy occurs when part of the iris, along with the outer part of the eyeball needs to be removed. An iridocyclectomy takes place when the ciliary body along with a portion of the iris is removed.
Enucleation Eye Cancer Treatment
Finally, the removal of the entire eyeball, called an enucleation, is reserved for large melanomas or other complicated small melanomas where treatment would destroy vision. During this surgery, an implant is usually inserted to take the place of the eyeball.
Radiation Therapy Eye Cancer Treatment
A common eye cancer treatment option for intraocular melanoma, radiation therapy is often performed in order to preserve some vision in the eye as well as preserve the eye structure instead of needing an implant. It is usually given through the placement of small pellets or seeds of radioactive material close to the eye cancer. External radiation is mainly used to treat intraocular lymphomas.
Laser Therapy Eye Cancer Treatment
The use of beams of light to kill the cancerous cells can be used to treat eye melanomas. Two types of treatments called laser photocoagulation or transpupillary thermotherapy may be given depending on the size of the eye cancer.
Chemotherapy Eye Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy may be used alone or in combination with radiation therapy to treat eye cancer. It can be by as a pill or intravenously, or can even be injected directly into the eye or into the spine by a spinal tap, or delivered through a catheter in a small hole in the skull.
Monoclonal Antibodies Eye Cancer Treatment
There are several targeted treatments that are used to treat lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, which also may be used to treat intraocular lymphomas. A drug called Rituxan is sometimes given intravenously or injected directly into the eye. Other therapies called Zevalin and Bexxar, which also contain radioactive particles, may also be used. These therapies are usually reserved for eye cancers that have not responded to other standard treatment options.

 

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