There are a variety of tumours in which some of the tumours are related to the skin just like we can get skin cancer, Eye cancer in other parts of our body, some of which are related to sun exposure. There are also tumours and cancers that involve the eye socket itself as well as a tear drainage system, some of the structures around the eye, and there are tumours that involve the eyeball itself inside of the eye. So, it’s a big range and oftentimes people may not think that the eyelids or the eye can have any type of cancer but depending on the type of tumour, it may require additional treatment with radiation and chemotherapy in addition to possible surgery.
Eye cancer is mainly of two types:
- Cancer that can occur in children: In children, the main one is called retinoblastoma. It is very difficult to see cancer in a child because the child will never be able to notice any of these symptoms but what the parents can notice is that inside the pupil of the eye, one can see the white reflex. There are some conditions for the white reflex:
- Retinal detachment
These can also be seen in premature babies but in cancer usually, we will see after 1 or 2 years of age.
- Cancer that comes in an elderly person is called melanoma.
One of the most important symptom that a person can have is that there will be some kind of a haze or the lines which are looking straight will become curved, there will be flashes of light, there will be floaters in the vision and very slowly one part of the vision becomes obscured as cancer keeps growing. Pain, as we know of cancer, will come at a much later stage when this cancer has progressed into all the other parts of the eye.
Just like the freckles on the skin, we can get freckles inside the eyes and when we go to the dermatologist, they keep a watch on it for some time to see if it’s changing size, shape, or colour then we need to be very cautious about it.
Retinoblastoma: It affects the retina’s nerve cells causing them to mutate. This genetic mutation causes the nerve cells to multiply and grow and eventually overcome healthy cells and cause them to die. The rapid growth and replication of the mutated cells create a mask that ultimately forms into a tumour. These cell anomalies can also metastasize to other parts of the body if not diagnosed and treated in time. Although the main cause behind this disease is not identified and it is possible that the genetic mutation is inherited. For this genetic possibility, it is suggested that the families who have a history of this disease should perform the appropriate genetic testing in an effort to become informed on the level of risk of their children.
Eye cancer: Eye melanoma is very uncommon and is the second most common form of melanoma. In about half of the patients with this form of melanoma cancer will eventually spread usually to the liver and at that point, there are no effective therapies and most of the patients will succumb to the disease. Unfortunately, these statistics have remained the same for the last 30 to 40 years. The first sign of eye cancer in an adult will be straight lines becoming curved because it is now involved in the retina. Flashes of light, floating objects and slowly the blindness occurs.
When we think about therapies for eye melanoma, we often extrapolate from therapies we use in the more common skin melanoma but those therapies rarely achieve success. Therefore there is an urgent need for treatments that are targeted for this particular subtype of melanoma. Genetic changes in just two genes cause this eye cancer and targeting of these genes should be done which would be an effective strategy to fight this cancer type. Targeting these proteins is extremely difficult. However, there is a new method that targets these proteins in which these two genes called GNAQ and GNA11 are its constant renewal for each protein that’s created, another one is destroyed. By interrupting the cycle we can enhance the destruction of these proteins and thereby cause the melanoma cells to die. All medications for cancer treatment are now available in online pharmacies easily at the very best prices
It is rare cancer and hence it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. There is a need to secure the resources for these patients who currently have no other option. There is no effective therapy for this terrible disease.