Cancer of the eye and eye socket is a frightening diagnosis. These types of cancers have a variety of causes, symptoms and treatments that can affect the severity and outcome of an eye socket cancer diagnosis.
Eye cancers and eye socket cancers arise from within the eye itself or from the spread of other cancers to the eye and orbital areas. The most common types of cancers that affect the eye and eye socket are retinoblastoma, the most common eye cancer, which is caused by a congenital tumour; melanoma, or skin cancer, that spreads to the eye socket or originates in the iris; and a brain tumour that spreads to the eye socket and eye.
Symptoms of any type of eye or orbital cancer include changes in eye movement, bulging eyes, change in eyeball position within the socket, blurry vision, floaters or flashes of light and a decrease in vision or line of sight.
In most cases, the most effective treatment is removal of all cancer surgically, including the eye and any bone or tissue involved. Other treatments may include removing only part of the eye or tissue, chemotherapy and radiation.
Patients suffering from eye and orbital cancers can be any age, race or sex, but most of these cancers occur in individuals who are 50 or older. Long-term outcomes depend on the source of the cancer, how far it has spread and the severity of the cancer.
The American Cancer Society provides online and local support groups for cancer sufferers, including some groups specifically for people diagnosed with eye and eye socket cancers.