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Is Ocular Melanoma Painful & What Are The Stages In It?

Melanoma is a type of cancer found in the bone marrow. It develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control.

Ocular melanoma is a rare form of cancer that involves the eye. It starts in the tissues, skin, or area around the eye. About 2,500 adults every year in the United States are affected by this condition. People over the age of 50 are most likely to be diagnosed with primary intraocular melanoma, however, this is a rare condition in children and also in people over the age of 70.

Is Ocular Melanoma Painful?

Is Ocular Melanoma Painful?

People with pale pigmented skin and eyes are at increased threat for melanoma of the eye. You’re more likely to get this cancer if you have a lot of freckles or moles on your body. Eye melanoma may not cause signs and symptoms however their typical symptoms include blurred vision, peripheral vision, and change in the shape of the dark circle.

When symptoms develop, they induce pain, cause reduced vision and in rare cases lead to loss of vision. A black spot or evident mole on the eye indicates the presence of ocular melanoma, particularly when it worsens over time. Very few people have pain.

Huge eye cancer basically leads to vision loss in the affected eye and can trigger impediments, such as retinal separation, that also trigger vision damage.1,2

Stages Of Ocular Melanoma

When someone is diagnosed with eye cancer, doctors will try to figure out cancer’s growth and spread. This is referred to as staging. The stage of cancer illustrates how far cancer is in the system. It helps establish how severe the cancer is and how it can be treated.

Physicians make use of investigative assessments to discover cancer’s stage, so staging may not be comprehensive until all the examinations are completed. The most widespread procedure used to illustrate the stages of eye melanomas is the TNM system in addition to the system used by the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study group.3

TNM Staging System For Ocular Melanoma

TNM stands for Tumour, Node, Metastasis. This system defines the extent of the preliminary melanoma whether cancer has propagated to the lymph nodes. The TNM system is the most commonly used cancer staging procedure. Most clinics and hospitals use the TNM staging system as their primary technique for cancer reporting.

  • Tumor- The magnitude and scope of the main tumor. How significant it is and where it is positioned?
  • Node- TNM staging system will determine to which extent the tumor has spread to the nodes?
  • Metastasis – Has cancer propagated to other parts of the system. If it has spread, where and how much has it spread?

If these stages occur more in number, it implies that cancer is more advanced. Some eye surgeons don’t probably use the TNM system to identify the stages. Nevertheless, they still contemplate the size of cancer and how it is influencing an individual’s vision when determining a therapy.

The TNM Staging Of Uveal Melanoma – Uveal melanoma is the most widespread type of eye melanoma in grown-ups. The uvea is the middle layer of the eye and is made up of the ciliary body and choroid. Prognosis in uveal melanoma (UM) is of great significance for patient treatment and stratification of patients in medical examinations. A range of patient and tumor traits can be used for prognosis in UM.

The TNM system is very detailed, but in practice, doctors may use the simpler staging system to treat ocular melanoma.4,5


  1. Eye melanoma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/eye-melanoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372371
  2. Ocular Melanoma – NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/ocular-melanoma/
  3. Eye Cancer Stages – American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/cancer/eye-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/staging.html
  4. Eye Cancer: Stages and Grades https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/eye-cancer/stages-and-grades
  5. Stages of Intraocular (Uveal) Melanoma | Southeast Radiation Oncology Group https://treatcancer.com/blog/stages-of-intraocular-uveal-melanoma/

Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 25, 2022

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