What Is The Best Treatment For Ocular Melanoma?

Although ocular melanoma can be deadly and is not easy to identify by signs alone, regular retinal checkups by an eye specialist have the ability to analyze a complication at an early stage, thus protecting a patient’s life.

What Is The Best Treatment For Ocular Melanoma?

The treatment options for ocular melanoma often depends on the size and location of the tumor. In addition, the patient’s overall health is also a crucial factor in determining the treatment procedure.

If you make a decision to go forward with therapy, it is classified into one of two classes: radiation and surgery.1

Radiation: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams (proton beam) or charged particles to kill cancer cells. Generally, individuals with ocular melanoma will have radiation treatment. Radiation therapy can help save your vision. It is used more frequently than surgery to treat ocular melanoma. Your doctor will contemplate your requirements to prepare the type and extent of radiation, and when and how it is given.

There are typically many side effects when using radiation therapy. Radiation treatment destroys cancer cells, however, on the other hand, it also destroys healthy cells in the healing region. Destruction to healthy cells leads to side effects. Some of the common side effects of radiation therapy involve:

Fatigue- After radiation therapy begins, fatigue usually increases until mid-way through the course of treatments and then stays about the same until treatment ends.

Skin Problems- Skin damage from radiation therapy often starts after 1 or 2 weeks of treatment which can range from a mild, red rash and itchy, peeling or flaking skin to a more serious effect with sores and moist, cracking skin.

Hair Loss- Radiation treatment will usually lead to hair loss to the body organ that is being cured. Hair grows back in 2 to 5 months after therapy has finished. If you obtained an extremely elevated level of radiation your hair may grow makes weaker or not at all on the part of your body that received radiation.

Loss of Appetite- Loss of appetite is a common side effect of cancer. Radiation therapy makes you lose your appetite. Nevertheless, it is essential to keep on following healthy lifestyle habits though you don’t feel hunger. Balanced, healthy diet intake provides you the energy you require and the momentum for your system to recuperate from therapy and battle cancerous cells.

However, most side effects disappear within a few weeks to 2 months of finishing treatment. But a few side effects may remain after therapy since it takes time for healthy cells to recuperate from the consequences of radiation therapy.2,3

Surgery- Surgery is the most frequent therapy for intraocular cancer. A doctor will remove parts, or all of the affected eye depending on the size and spread of the tumor. For bigger polyps, polyps that trigger ocular pain, and for cancers involving the optic nerve, the surgery may entail amputating the entire eye. After the cancer is eliminated, a transplant is injected into the same place, and the tissues restricting the movement of the optic nerve are connected to the implant, which permits the implant to move.

Surgical options include:

  • Iridectomy: It is the surgical removal of part of the iris in which a small section of the peripheral iris is excised through a limbal incision.
  • Iridocyclectomy- A surgical procedure in patients with iris tumors where excision of the iris and ciliary body is carried out.
  • Enucleation- A form of treatment that allows your ophthalmologist to remove the tumor that leaves the eye muscles and remaining orbital contents intact.4,5

References:

  1. Eye melanoma – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eye-melanoma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372376
  2. Ocular Melanoma Treatment – American Academy of Ophthalmology https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/ocular-melanoma-treatment
  3. Treating Eye Melanoma by Location and Size https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/eye-cancer/treatment-options
  4. Treatments for intraocular melanoma – Canadian Cancer Society https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/eye/treatment/intraocular-melanoma/?region=on
  5. OMF – Primary Treatment – Ocular Melanoma Foundation http://www.ocularmelanoma.org/treatment.htm

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