Ocular melanoma refers to the melanoma within or across your eyes. This is a type of cancer, which develops within the cells responsible to produce pigments i.e. the cells, which give color to your hair, eyes, and skin.(1)
How To Diagnose Ocular Melanoma?
Your eye doctor will recommend the following procedures to diagnose your ocular melanoma problem.
Eye Examination: Your eye doctor will conduct outside eye examination to identify any of the enlarged blood vessels, as they indicate the presence of a tumor in your eye/eyes. Later on, doctors use certain instruments to have a look at the inner areas of your eyes. For this, experts adopt two different methods-
Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy: This method uses a bright light mounted on the forehead of your doctor lenses i.e. almost similar to a miner’s lamp.
Slit Lamp Ophthalmoscopy: Unlike the previous method, here your doctor will use lenses combined with a microscope to produce an intensive light beam to illuminate your eyes’ interior areas.
Optical Coherence Tomography: Categorized as one of the imaging tests, it creates images/pictures of various portions present in your retina and uveal tract.
Eye Ultrasound: The eye ultrasound method uses various sound waves of high-frequency by using a transducer, i.e. a type of hand-held yet a wand apparatus. Transducer thus produces various images of your eyes. Doctors have to place it at the front area of your eyes or over the closed eyelids.
Angiogram: Angiogram method refers to the imaging of various blood vessels present in and across the formed eye tumor. To perform the procedure, your doctor will inject a colored dye within your arm’s vein. The dye thus travels towards your eye’s blood vessels. Simultaneously, a camera equipped with special filters is used for detecting the dye while it collects flash pictures every few seconds periods for many minutes.
Biopsy: Biopsy is the last method to diagnose ocular melanoma or eye melanoma. This involves the removal of a specific tissue sample from the affected eye/eyes. For this, a thin and small needle is inserted in the eyes for extracting the suspicious tissue followed by testing of the respective tissue to determine the presence of melanoma cells.
Diagnose To Determine The Spread Of Eye Cancer
Doctors may recommend a few of the additional diagnostic procedures to determine the spread of melanoma or eye cancer to other body parts or not, which include-
- Chest X-Ray
- Blood tests for measuring your liver functions
- CT i.e. computerized tomography scan
- Abdominal ultrasound
- MRI i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan
- PET i.e. positron emission tomography(2)
What Is The Best Medicine For Ocular Melanoma?
Based on broad classifications, doctors consider two different types of medicines/drugs to cure or at least manage the condition of eye melanoma.
Immunotherapy Drugs: Immunotherapy types of drugs stimulate the immune system of one’s body and thereby, recognize as well as attack various cancer cells effectively. These medications treat skin melanoma and benefit a lot to patients suffering from uveal eye melanoma. Especially, the pembrolizumab type of immunotherapy drug is helpful in treating people suffering from eye melanoma.
Targeted Drugs: A few of the new drugs target specific parts of the human’s melanoma cells, which are different from regular cells. For instance, most of the skin melanomas have BRAF types of genetic mutations and various drugs targeting this genetic mutation are available nowadays to cure cancers. Even though BRAF mutation is rare in uveal eye melanoma patients, but those suffering from it may get positive results via BRAF targeted medications. Also, these drugs may cure people suffering from conjunctival melanoma.(3)
To conclude, we should say that both diagnoses and treatment of ocular or eye melanoma is easy. Moreover, depending on your specific condition, your doctor will recommend immunotherapy or targeted drugs/medications. Only, you have to consult your doctor in case you experience any type of eye or vision-related problems.
- What Happens To Untreated Ocular Melanoma & When To Go To A Doctor For It?
- How Does Ocular Melanoma Affect The Body & What Triggers It?
- How Fast Does Ocular Melanoma Spread & Does It Spread To The Brain?
- Is Ocular Melanoma A Disability & How Do You Stop It From Spreading?
- Is Ocular Melanoma Hereditary & Can An Optometrist Detect It?
- What Is The Most Common Surgery For Ocular Melanoma?
- How Dangerous Is Ocular Melanoma & Is It Contagious?