Eye anatomy

What Is Eye Cancer?

Any cancer that starts in or around the eye is called eye cancer. Cancer starts when cells mutate. Ocular oncologists specialize in treating eye cancer.

Eye Cancer Types

Different types of cancer start in different parts of the eye. Your eye has three main parts: the eyeball; the orbit, tissues surrounding the eye; and structures such as the eyelids and tear glands.

Here are some examples of eye cancers:

Eye Cancer Symptoms

  • Blurry vision or sudden loss of vision
  • Floaters in your eye (spots or squiggles that drift in your field of vision) or flashes of light
  • A growing dark spot on your iris, the colored part of the eye
  • Pupil changes in size or shape
  • Eyeball changes position within its socket
  • Bulging eyeballs

These symptoms may not be due to cancer. They could be from a different condition. A physician can evaluate these symptoms. Patients with eye cancer rarely feel pain, unless the tumor has grown outside the eyeball.

Eye Cancer Causes

There is no exact cause, but certain types of characteristics have been linked with eye cancer.

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Eye color
  • Age and gender
  • Moles
  • Family history of cancer
  • Inherited conditions

Eye Cancer Treatments

Treatments depend on the type and stage of cancer and tumor location. Here are some examples of treatments:


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Why Choose Us for Eye Cancer Treatment?

The Moran Eye Center, working in collaboration with Huntsman Cancer Institute and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, uses state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments.

Moran is one of only a few centers nationwide that provide dedicated, comprehensive care for adults and children affected by eye cancer. This service allows our patients in Utah and the surrounding region to receive advanced, coordinated care close to home. Huntsman Cancer Institute is the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, with unique resources to support eye cancer care.

Treatment for ocular cancers requires a multi-disciplinary care team, which might include specialists in oculoplastics, medical oncology, radiation oncology, interventional radiology, dermatology, and clinical social work. Our teams meet and collaborate frequently in order to optimize a patient’s individual care.

Diagnostic tools and treatments available through the service include minimally invasive biopsies; ultra-high-resolution imaging and ultrasonography; targeted radiation and advanced chemotherapy options; genetic counselors and a full array of genetic testing; and excellent eye prosthesis options.

Meet Moran's Eye Cancer Specialist

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