Is ocular melanoma aggressive?

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.

Is ocular melanoma life threatening?

However, survival rates depend on the size and location of the tumor and the type of cancer diagnosed. The 5-year survival rate for eye melanoma is 82%. When melanoma does not spread outside the eye, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 85%.

What is the life expectancy of someone with metastatic ocular melanoma?

The median survival time after metastasis diagnosis was 3.9 months (IQR, 1.64-10.07). Overall, the 1-year survival rate was 21.2% and the 3-year survival rate was 4.3%, and only 62 patients (11.1%) survived 1.5 years or more.

Can ocular melanoma spread 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].

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How long does it take ocular melanoma to spread?

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).

Does ocular melanoma always spread?

It is rare for this form of cancer to have already spread outside of the eye when it is spotted. In about half of all patients, the melanoma will come back after treatment (recurrence). Cancers that recur within the eye are usually treated by removing the eye.

How fast does melanoma metastasis?

How fast does melanoma spread and grow to local lymph nodes and other organs? “Melanoma can grow extremely quickly and can become life-threatening in as little as six weeks,” noted Dr. Duncanson. “If left untreated, melanoma begins to spread, advancing its stage and worsening the prognosis.”

Does melanoma decrease life expectancy?

This means 92 of every 100 people diagnosed with melanoma will be alive in 5 years. In the very early stages the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Once melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes the 5-year survival rate is 63%. If melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival drops to just 20%.

Can ocular melanoma come back?

Most uveal melanomas are still only within the eye when they are first diagnosed. It is rare for the cancer to have already spread outside of the eye. But unfortunately, in about half of all patients the melanoma will come back at some point after treatment. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called recurrent.

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How do you know if melanoma has metastasized?


  • Hardened lumps under your skin.
  • Swollen or painful lymph nodes.
  • Trouble breathing, or a cough that doesn’t go away.
  • Swelling of your liver (under your lower right ribs) or loss of appetite.
  • Bone pain or, less often, broken bones.
  • Headaches, seizures, or weakness or numbness in your arms or legs.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.

Where does ocular melanoma 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 likely is ocular melanoma spread?

The liver is the most common organ in the body affected by metastasis of an ocular melanoma (80% of cases) but less often may involve the lungs, skin or soft tissue, and bone. Some estimates suggest that in 40-50% of individuals, an ocular melanoma will metastasize.