Eye Cancer Detection
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When a cancer is detected, then only treatments can be given. Cancer develops due to unregulated growth of cells. The growth and end time of cells is decided by certain genes. These genes are called as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that regulate the growth of cells. Hence, any alteration in the function of these cells can result into cancer. Now, there are two types of eye cancer- primary eye cancer and malignant eye cancer. Malignant eye cancer is the cancer where the cancerous cells spread to the eyes from the other body parts whereas in primary eye cancer the cancerous cells develop in the eye itself. Early detection of eye cancer can prove the treatment to be effective, less complex or complicated and successful. Hence, regular eye check-up is must as eye specialists can only diagnose eye cancer in its early stages. Symptoms of eye cancer appear in the last stages of eye cancer.
Eye cancer detection:
Following are the procedures that doctors carry out to detect the presence of cancerous cells in the eyes:
- Eye examination:
Ophthalmoscope is a hand held instrument having light and magnifying lens. Magnifying lens helps in detail examination of eyes. Regular eye examination can help in detecting the melanoma of the eye. As the symptoms of eye cancer appear in the very later stages, regular eye check up is a must.
In the process of angiography, doctor uses a dye that circulates around the eyes to get detail pictures of blood vessels and other parts of the eyes.
In fluorescein angiography, a yellow colored dye is injected into the veins in the arms. This dye circulates around the eyes. With the help of special camera, pictures are taken every few seconds. This helps the doctor in detecting the presence of cancerous malignant tumor.
Another procedure of angiography is indocyanine green angiography test. Here, instead of yellow colored dye, green colored dye is used. The rest of the procedure is same.
Ultrasound therapy of eye cancer uses high frequency sound waves to detect cancer. In this procedure, hand held apparatus called transducer is used. Transducer generates high frequency sound waves. You are made to sit on a chair and the transducer is placed against the eyelid or the front surface of the eye. You are given eye anesthesia. It is found that eye melanomas have characteristic appearance on the ultrasound. This method is very effective in determining the thickness of the tumor. This helps in deciding the treatment.
- Fine needle biopsy:
Fine needle biopsy includes removal of tumors with the help of needle. This procedure is not used widely as doctors can diagnose most of the intraocular melanoma without the help of biopsy.
- Test for metastases:
A tumor that is developed in the eye can spread to other parts of the body especially to the liver. Hence, to determine whether the tumor has spread or not, a person's liver enzymes are tested through blood test. Computed tomography scan (CT scan) can also be used to determine the metastases. In CT scan, with the help of x-ray machine and computer creates a three dimensional pictures of the parts inside the body.
Positron emission tomography (PET scan) is also used to detect metastases. A small radioactive substance is injected into the body of the patient. This, radioactive substance is mostly absorbed by the cancerous cells. With the help of scanner, images of the inside parts of the body are produced.
Above are listed eye cancer detection methods. Doctors can use these methods in combination to confirm the presence of cancer tumor. Generally, eye specialists can easily diagnose the presence of eye cancer.