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Ocular Oncology treats cancer inside the eye. This can include cancer in the back part of the eye, involving the retina and its supporting structures, or the front part of the eye, where the iris and cornea are located.
Ocular cancers are relatively rare but can be life-threatening to adults and children. Fortunately, with early detection and advanced treatments, the prognosis for remission is excellent.
Symptoms & Signs of Eye Cancer
- An unusual dark spot on the eye, including the colored part of the eye (called the iris)
- An eye with a cloudy pupil (versus a red reflex)
- Vision problems, including blurry vision or loss of vision
- Seeing floaters (spots, floating objects or squiggly lines)
- Seeing flashes of light or shadows
- Change in the size or shape of the pupil (the black-looking round opening in the center of the iris)
- Change in the position of the eye in the eye socket (orbit)
- Bulging of the eye
- A change to eye movement or position of the eye in the eye socket
- A lump on the surface of the eye
- Eye redness or irritation that doesn’t go away
UR Medicine's Approach
We take a multidisciplinary approach to addressing malignant cancers of the eye, as well as diagnosing and monitoring benign tumors.
Our Ocular Oncology program is directed by ocular oncologist Vikas Khetan, MBBS, who may involve specialists from other areas of ophthalmology including retina, cornea, pediatrics, and orbital services, as well as specialists from the Wilmot Cancer Institute.
Diagnosing Eye Cancer
Many times, an examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is all that is needed to diagnose eye cancer. The following tests are often used to determine the severity of the malignancy (staging) and develop a treatment plan:
- CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scans
- Dilated retinal exam
- Fluorescein angiography
- Ultrasound of the eye
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
- OCT angiography
- Surgical biopsy (rarely)
Treating Eye Cancer
We treat the following types of intraocular cancers and benign tumors:
- Choroidal hemangioma
- Choroidal nevi
- Conjunctival melanomas
- Intraocular lymphoma
- Intraocular melanoma
- Metastases to the eyes of other cancers (such as breast cancer)
Tumors of the eyelids and the orbital structures behind the eye are addressed by our oculofacial plastics and orbital team.
After confirming a diagnosis, we will develop a customized treatment plan. In nearly every case, the primary goal is to get rid of the tumor completely. Our team will also prioritize preserving your vision. With the most advanced therapies available, outcomes have never been better.
Treatment may include:
- Brachy therapy (localized internal radiation)
- Laser treatment
- Surgical excision
- Targeted external beam radiation
What Sets Us Apart?
The Flaum Eye Institute is the Rochester region’s only center for the treatment of eye cancers and eye tumors.
Our specialized care includes the most advanced medical and surgical treatments with the goal of eradicating the cancer while preserving as much vision as possible.
Equipped with the region’s most up-to-date surgical equipment, we’re able to routinely perform complex procedures that were once referred to eye care centers hundreds of miles away, saving you time and keeping you close to home.
We’re also part of National Clinical Trials, and we perform our own research at the Institute. So, our care is informed by the latest scientific discoveries.
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Patient Education & Support
Your wellness and vision are important to us. As the region’s only center for the treatment of eye cancer, we offer the following internal and external resources to assist you before, during and after your diagnosis and treatment.