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Eye Cancer Diagnosis

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Eye cancer is the cancer that originates in the eye itself. Eye cancer can be of two types- malignant eye cancer and primary eye cancer. Malignant eye cancer is the cancer that spreads to the eye from other parts of body whereas primary eye cancer originates in the eyes itself. Eye cancer is very infrequent cancer and hence, it is also christened as silent killer. When there are changes in certain genes such as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes that regulate the growth of cell and killing of cells, cancer is bound to develop since cancer is nothing but uncontrolled or unregulated growth of cells. The cancerous cells divide at a very rapid pace. Retinoblastoma is a type of cancer that is commonly found in children. Ocular melanoma is the eye cancer found in adults. Intraocular and extra ocular are the types of eye cancers. In the intraocular eye cancer the tumor is in the eye itself whereas in extra ocular eye cancer, the tumor is around the eyes. 325 cases of eye cancer have been diagnosed in the North America continent and the success rate of these cases exceeds beyond 95% only when the cancer was detected early. Hence, when the symptoms of cancer arise, check it with your eye specialist as soon as possible. Most of the eye specialists are expert at diagnosing eye cancer by examining it under a microscope.

Eye cancer diagnosis:

While taking tests to detect eye cancer few of the factors such as type of cancer suspected, age and medical condition, intensity of symptoms and previous test records are taken into consideration. Tests can also be used to detect whether the cancer is primary or metastasized.

Eye cancer diagnosis tests:

  1. Physical examination:

    Physical examination is the first test your eye specialist will carry. Physical symptoms such as appearance of brown spots on the iris or in the case of retinoblastoma white or yellow spots appear in the pupil instead of red reflux. The instrument used in examining of the eye is called as an ophthalmoscope and slit lamp which is a microscope with lamp attached to it.

  2. Fluorescein angiography:

    Fluorescein, a fluorescent dye, is injected into the person's arm. This dye travels through the body and into the blood vessels that are present at the back of the eye. Quick and several pictures of the eye are taken. This test is used to take a detailed picture of the blood vessels in the eye.

  3. Indocyanine green angiography:

    This test is similar to Fluorescein angiography with the only difference that instead of Fluorescein, a fluorescent dye Indocyanine green dye is used. This test is also basically carried to take pictures of blood vessels in the eye.

  4. Fine needle biopsy:

    As the name suggests, in this procedure, cancerous tumors are removed from the eye with the help of a fine needle. Generally, doctors do not need to perform biopsy because they can correctly diagnose intraocular melanoma. Hence, this test is not used that frequently.

  5. Ultrasound test:

    In this test, sound waves are used to create a picture of the eyes. Frequency, wavelength and amplitude are noted down and recorded to create a picture of the eyes with the help of sound waves.

The above tests are performed in combination for eye cancer diagnosis. To check whether the cancer has spread to other body parts or not, other tests like Computed Tomography (CT scan) where three-dimensional pictures are obtained with the help of computer, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) where magnets and radio waves are used to obtain cross-sectional pictures or views of the organ affected and PET scan is used to determine whether the cancerous cells have spread to the lymph nodes or not. In PET scan, a radioactive sugar is injected into the body. The cancerous cells absorb the sugar and get accumulated. With the help of a special camera, the location of cancerous malignant tumor can be detected. These tests are very useful in detecting the metastasis of the cancer.

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