Frequent question: What causes choroidal melanoma?

The exact cause of choroidal melanoma is not known, however, there is a strong association with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Also, people with light eye color, of Caucasian descent, and older in age are at greater risk.

Can choroidal melanoma be cured?

Even though the melanoma is cured and in remission in the eye, life-long systemic monitoring for metastasis is necessary, as metastasis could have occurred before the eye cancer was discovered.

How common is choroidal melanoma?

Choroidal melanomas are relatively rare, with an incidence of approximately five to six cases per one million people, which equates to about 1,400 cases in the United States each year.

Is choroidal melanoma fatal?

If it spreads, this cancer can be fatal. Although choroidal melanoma is rare, it is the most common eye cancer in adults. It usually occurs in people who are middle-aged or older.

How fast does choroidal melanoma grow?

Choroidal melanomas tend to be very slow-growing, but because they often do not cause symptoms or visual changes when they are small, many are not recognized until they grow to larger sizes.

How long does eye melanoma take to develop?

There is no known cause, though incidence is highest among people with lighter skin and blue eyes. Approximately 50% of patients with OM will develop metastases by 10 to 15 years after diagnosis (a small percentage of people will develop metastases even later i.e. 20-25 years after their initial diagnosis).

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What size is a large choroidal melanoma?

Rarely such eyes have to be secondarily removed. Eye cancer specialists try to preserve eyes, even if the eye had reduced vision. Large-sized Choroidal Melanoma: Very large choroidal melanomas (greater than 22 mm width) may be treated by initial removal of the eye (enucleation).

What is the prognosis of choroidal melanoma?

Choroidal melanoma is a disease with a high mortality rate, usually irrespective of the chosen treatment modality. About 30-50% of patients with choroidal melanoma will die within 10 years from diagnosis and treatment. Death is usually secondary to distant metastases, and the risk is greatest in larger tumors.

Can eye melanoma spread to the brain?

Metastasis of the ocular malignant melanoma to the brain is extremely rare and most often occurs simultaneously with liver metastases. Lorigan et al., in clinical and radiological studies, found a total of five cases of brain metastases in 110 cases of metastatic choroidal melanoma [3].

Where does melanoma of the eye spread to?

The liver is the most common site of metastasis in ocular melanoma. Among those who develop metastatic disease, 90% of patients develop liver disease. However, ocular melanoma can spread to any organ in the body. After the liver, common sites include the lung, bones and brain.

How common is intraocular melanoma?

Ocular melanoma is an extremely rare form of cancer that affects the eye with an incidence of 5 per million adults. Although rare, it is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults.

How aggressive is ocular melanoma?

This is an aggressive type of cancer that can potentially spread to other areas of the body, most often to the liver. Immediate treatment is often necessary. The approach depends on the size and placement of the tumor, and the stage at which it is found. The two most common treatments are radiation therapy and surgery.

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