Cancer » Eye Cancer
Eye cancer is the type of cancer primarily developing in an eye. The nature and intensity of the disease may vary form person to person. The cancer may or may not be fatal but can lead to 100% vision loss. The cancer can be primary or secondary in nature. In the primary cancer, the cancerous cells (also known as the malignant or tumor cells) develop in the eye itself. While in the secondary cancer, the tumor cells are developed in some other areas of the body like the lungs, prostate, skin, thyroid, bone marrow, kidney, blood or breasts and then gradually spread to the eyes. The secondary cancer is mostly caused due to spread of cancerous cells from the breasts and lungs.
Eye cancer in detail
The disease is developed due to an uncontrolled division and growth of cancerous or malignant cells. These cells invade the healthy tissues and prevent them form performing their duty. The tissues carry out various kinds of duties like the supply of blood and oxygen to various parts of the body and play an important role in the cell-growth mechanism. These tissues actually provide the resources for cell growth so that the organ or that particular area of the body functions normally. So, when such tissues are attacked by the cancerous cells, the whole mechanism loses co-ordination and the infected organ behaves abnormally or unexpectedly.
A group of malignant cells then replaces these damaged tissues and a tumor is formed. The tumor is not beneficial to our body in any way as its main function is to attack and destroy the live, normal-functioning cells. The tumors spread to various parts of the body through the blood stream or lymph nodes and spread the infection rapidly. Normally, the tumors spread slowly in the initial stages but the process gets faster with the intensity of the disease.
Depending upon the nature and origin of the cancerous cells, eye cancer is classified into two main types as intraocular and extraocular. Intraocular cancer develops in the eye itself while the extraocular cancer develops in the areas outside the eyes.
There are various types of intraocular cancer like ocular melanoma, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma primarily affects the retina and affects the vision badly. This disease is more common in young children (mostly under five). Success rate of curing the retinoblastoma is very high and almost nine out of ten cases are cured successfully. Extraocular cancer can be of various types as the optic nerve tumor, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and rhabdomyosarcoma.
Dermoid cyst is another kind of tumor but is benign in nature. Benign tumor is the one that is not harmful for tissues and does not spread to other parts of the body. The tumor is restricted to a certain area and does not invade the healthy cells and tissues. But, the tumor should be treated in time or it may become malignant and hamper the cell-growth.
Make yourself aware about the disease
'Health is wealth' is a small but important message and applies aptly to the eye cancer. A healthy eye is less prone to the cancer. You need to be very careful with your vision and consult your physician immediately if you experience any eyesight problems. Also, the people who use spectacles and eye-lenses should be more careful and check their eyesight regularly. Retina is the main organ responsible for a good vision. If you experience any eyesight problems and are still hesitant to consult an eye specialist, you are putting extra strain on your retina and may lead to weakening of muscles. Weak muscles are more prone to tumors as they are easy to invade.
Having salads, leafy vegetables, regular exercise and regular eye check-up is necessary to protect yourself from being a victim of this cancer. Using a UV-protective sunglass is recommended as the harmful ultra violet rays may cause the development of cancerous cells in your eyes. A person having green, blue or any other light-colored eyes is more prone to the disease as compared to the one having black eyes. Also, the chances of being a victim to this cancer depend on the color of the skin. People with white skin are at a slightly higher risk of being infected by the disease as compared to those with brownish or black skin. But this is not a guaranteed symptom and the cases of cancer occurring due to the skin color are rare. Age is also an important factor as the chances of being infected by the disease rise with an increase in age.
Blurred vision or partial loss of vision is the primary symptom of the disease. Vision loss may be due to various reasons but a thorough eye check-up is necessary to diagnose the exact cause. This also helps in opting for the right kind of treatment. Change in the shape of pupil or dark spots on the iris are other important indications of the disease. Unexpected change in vision, frequent eye pains or redness in the eyes is some other basic symptoms to look for.
It is important to note that the above symptoms can also be seen in normal eye infections or any other disease related to your eyes. Not every eye disease is an eye cancer and thus, you must consult a good eye specialist before opting for any tests or treatment. Causes may differ according to the nature of the cancer. If the cancer belongs to the secondary type, the causes and symptoms may be even more complicated.
Eye cancer is one of the common eye diseases and mainly occurs due to negligence on the victim's part. A regular eye examination will definitely protect your eyes from such cancerous infection. Biopsy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, X-rays, fluorescein angiography, ultrasound scan, CT (Computed Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan and surgery are some of the common techniques practiced worldwide to cure the disease.