It’s a Wake-up Call for Routine Eye Check-up
You have Cancer! These three words no one wants to hear, and such words haunt the patient and his or her near and dear ones, which is why it’s a wake-up call for individuals to undergo routine eye check-up. Eye cancer treatment in India is revolutionised and can be availed at an affordable cost. Cancer in the eye seldom occurs, every year in UK 750 older adults who are 65 or above are diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer in the eye is a result of uncontrolled growth of cells in any part of the eye. Some eye cancers are non-malignant, but some may metastasise from benign cancer to some other part of the body.
Symptoms of Eye Cancer
• Blurred Vision
• Dark spots on the iris
• Partial or complete loss of sight
• Lumping in the cornea or conjunctiva
• Experiencing flashes of light
• Bulging on the eye
• Irritation, redness or inflammation in the conjunctiva
Types of Eye Cancer
Ocular cancer– Cancers of the eye are termed as ocular cancer. There are two types of ocular cancers – cancers of the inner lining of the eye are called intraocular cancers and those occurring outside of the eye are called extraocular cancer.
Types of Intraocular cancer
• Uveal metastases- The most frequently-occurring form of intraocular cancer that does not begin in uvea but spreads from other parts of the body.
• Intraocular Melanoma- An initial-stage primary intraocular cancer which is born when melanocytes divide rampantly. It is also known as uveal melanoma.
Rare types of an Intraocular Tumour
• Intraocular lymphoma- A sporadic form of lymphoma which originates in the eyeball. Mostly, intraocular lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
• Retinoblastoma- An extremely rare type common among children.
• Haemangioma- A non-malignant form of a choroid and retina tumour that originates in the blood vessels.
Some Sporadic cancers of the eye
• Conjunctival melanoma- Such a tumor develops in the eyelid and eyeball linings, known as the conjunctiva.
If it is left untreated, it has the potential to invade the lymph nodes. The odds of a conjunctival melanoma relapse are high and mostly appears like dark spots on the eye. Usually, a biopsy is performed for determining this cancer.
• Eyelid carcinoma (basal or squamous cell)- If diagnosed early, such type of a tumour can be cured.
• Lacrimal gland tumor- A widespread or non-malignant tumor which originates in the glands and causes tearing.
Risk Factors for Eye Cancer
Various risk factors for eye cancer are as follows:
• Age- Individuals 50 and above are at greater odds of being diagnosed with initial-stage intraocular melanoma. On an average, individuals develop eye cancer at the age of 55. It seldom occurs among children and senior citizens who are 70 or above.
• Race/ Ethnicity- White individuals are more prone to developing eye cancer when compared to the blacks.
• Gender- Intraocular melanoma equally occurs among males and females.
• Patients who were diagnosed with ocular or oculodermalmelanocytosis, (pigmentation of the eye or skin around the eye) and those who have moles in the eye are at an elevated risk of developing eye cancer.
• Dysplastic nevus syndrome is also associated with upping the risk of eye cancer.
• Genetic Mutations- BAP1 gene alteration is a crucial contributor to cancer.
• A family history of eye cancer.
• Various medical data have highlighted the link between sunlight or toxic chemicals and the risk factor for intraocular melanoma. However, the study warrants further research.
Diagnosis of Eye Cancer
Ophthalmologists make patients undertake various tests to diagnose cancer, and some other tests are also conducted to determine if cancer has metastasised to other parts of the body. However, the type of test one undertakes depends on the condition of the eye and suspected disease. Biopsy holds potential in diagnosing most of the cancers. Other than the general health examination of the patient, the various tests that a patient may undergo are as follows:
• Eye examination- Melanoma can be diagnosed during a routine eye examination.
• Ultrasound of the eye
• Fluorescein angiography- A fluorescent dye is administered into the patient’s arm, which creates images of blood vessels in the eye. Fluorescein angiography is used to determine eye diseases which may not be linked to cancer.
• Indocyanine green angiography- This test is very similar to fluorescein angiography, the only different factor is that it uses another form of the dye, known as indocyanine green.
• Fine needle biopsy- It involves removal of tumour cells from the eye with the help of a needle.
• Cytogenetics and gene expression profiling- This test is undertaken to determine the prognosis of cancer. The profiling tests involve scraping off a tissue sample via a biopsy or surgery. This test spots the role of genes and evaluates the chromosomes.
• Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan- Creates a three-dimensional image of the inside of the body via an x-ray machine and is effective in depicting a cross-sectional view, thereby reflecting the abnormalities of a tumour.
• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- The procedure involves administering a special dye into the patient intravenously before the MRI so that images are clear; this dye can also be given orally. MRI has the potential to determine the size of a tumour.
• Positron emission tomography (PET) scan- It provides clear images of organs and tissues inside the body. The procedure involves injecting small amounts of a radioactive sugar substance in the patient’s body, which enhances the imaging process. Sometimes a chest x-ray may be recommended to seeif the cancer has metastasised to the lung.
Treatment of Eye Cancer
Surgery involves removal of a tumour, and along with it a portion of adjacent healthy tissues are also removed. Surgery is common among patients suffering from intraocular melanoma.
• Choroidectomy: Involves removing a portion of the choroid.
• Iridectomy: Surgical procedure in which a part of the iris is removed.
• Iridocyclectomy: Along with the iris, the ciliary body is also removed.
• Sclerouvectomy/endoresection: The procedure involves removing the choroidal tumour while the eye is preserved.
• Iridotrabeculectomy: This surgery removes the tissues surrounding the cornea and iris.
• Enucleation: Complete removal of the eye.
If an eye tumour is small, then various therapies have shown potential in demolishing the cancerous pathogens. Some of the anticancer drugs such as gemcitabine and treosulfan has proved to be of potential in treating melanoma.
• Laser Therapy
Best Eye Cancer Ophthalmologists & Hospitals in India
Indian hospitals have highly skilled ophthalmologists, which are listed below.
• Dr Suraj Munjal – Spectra Eye Care Hospital
• Dr Mahipal S. Sachdev – Centre for Sight
• Dr Sanjay Dhawan – Max Hospital
• Dr Anita Sethi – Fortis Memorial, Gurugram
Cost of Eye Cancer Treatment in India
The cost of treatment one undergoes, is dependent on the stage and grade of the eye cancer, site of cancer, choice of eye care centre and ophthalmologists.
The cost of undergoing various surgeries for treating eye cancer is USD. Radiation therapy costs near about USD 5000, and the cost of chemotherapy per cycle is USD 500. Cryotherapy amounts to USD
Indian healthcare services are even more systematic now. Thanks to these healthcare platforms, which help patients in availing cost-effective treatment. One of such platforms is MedMonks, which is envisioned to deliver quality services to the patients. They provide a free quote to the patients from various leading hospitals in India and make all the necessary arrangement such as for travel, stay and schedule an appointment with the most suitable doctor. Led by a panel of experienced healthcare professionals, MedMonks has dealt with patients across 50 countries.
1. What is the prognosis of eye cancer?
Various forms of retinoblastoma and intraocular melanoma can be cured. If a tumour is diagnosed timely, then enucleation can be avoided. Additionally, primary eye cancers have a good prognosis if they are treated when the cancer is at its primary stage.
The survival rate of small eye melanoma, which is not more than 3 mm thick, and not more than 10 mm wide, is 80 percent, spanning to 5 years or more post-diagnosis.
2. Does eye cancer recur?
At times cancer relapses post the treatment. It may recur in the same location as that of an original tumour; this condition is termed as a local recurrence. It can also occur in adjacent areas, which is termed as regional recurrence or can even metastasise to some other body part which is termed as distant recurrence.
To determine the possible outcomes of recurrence, another set of tests are performed, and then the treatment option is curated for the patient.