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Ocular Oncology

Dedicated to personalized care in a compassionate setting

Retina Associates is a center of excellence in Ocular Oncology.

We specialize in cancer involving the eye.

Retina Associates utilizes the latest technology to provide the highest level of diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic information. We have earned a national reputation in ocular oncology. Our practice was one of the few national centers to participate in the prestigious ocular cancer trials such as Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS), COOG2, and AURA trials. Dr. Cameron Javid has published posters at national meetings, papers and co-authored a book chapter on the diagnosis and treatment of ocular cancer. We employ a full-time oncology coordinator to facilitate your appointments and care. Should you require this highly specialized care, please contact us for an appointment.

What Are the Symptoms of Eye Cancer?

Eye cancer may not show obvious symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision 
  • Partial or total blindness 
  • A lump that develops in the eyelid and keeps increasing in size 
  • Pain inside or around the eyes 
  • A dark patch in the eye that keeps getting bigger 
  • Shadows and flashes of light
  • Wiggly lines in the vision 
  • Bulging of one eye
  • The iris changes color

The above symptoms can also indicate other eye defects, especially eye injury. If you have these or any other symptoms, you need to let an ocular oncologist check the eye. In children, the symptoms might be different. One of the symptoms will be a white color that occupies the center of the eye. The child’s eye might suddenly appear to be looking in different directions. Excessive eye tearing, eye swelling, and redness might also be observed in children. 

What Are Common Types of Cancer in the Eye?

Cancer of the eye might affect any of the three major parts of the eye – the eyeball and its three layers, the orbit, or the structures that surround the eye, such as the eyelids and the tear glands. 

Cancer can either be intraocular (cancer in the eye), or it can be adnexal and orbital. 

Intraocular Cancer

This is the cancer that affects the eye itself. The cancer might start in the eye (primary intraocular cancer), or it might start somewhere else and spread to the eye (secondary intraocular cancer). In adults, some of the main types of intraocular cancers are:

  • Melanoma is the most common type of cancer within the eye. It commonly starts in the skin and rarely within the eye. Here, it affects the uvea (the iris, choroid, and the ciliary body) and sometimes the conjunctiva. It starts in cells known as melanocytes. 
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma starts in the lymphocytes 

Children may develop different types of cancers of the eye, such as:

  • Retinoblastoma is cancer that originates from the retina, which is the part of the eye that senses light
  • Medulloepithelioma is a rare type of cancer in children that affects the ciliary body

What Are the Treatment Options for Eye Cancer?

There are different treatment options, depending on the type of cancer and the level of its spread. Your ocular oncologist, Dr. Cameron Javid, in Tucson, Arizona, might recommend:

  • Brachytherapy where radioactive material is placed in the eye to destroy the cancerous cells
  • External radiotherapy where a machine aims radiation beams into the ocular tumors to kill the cancerous cells
  • Surgery to remove cancerous cells 
  • Enucleation, removal of the affected eye
  • Chemotherapy for cancer that affects the parts outside the eye 
  • Laser therapy
  • Limited resection

If you have concerns about an eye condition or are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please contact us today at 520-886-2597. 

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