Is Ocular Melanoma A Disability & How Do You Stop It From Spreading?

Ocular melanoma develops in the cells of the middle layer of the eye. It affects pigment-producing cells of the eye, which is responsible for eye color. Its incidence is rare. Its causes are unclear. Its risk factors are old age, exposure to UV rays, white skin color, green or blue eyes, etc. Its symptoms are blurring of the vision, bulged growth on the eyes, a blind spot on the iris, and many more.

Is Ocular Melanoma A Disability?

Is Ocular Melanoma A Disability?

Ocular melanoma (eye cancer) leaves an exhausting and painful experience. If the eye is affected, one’s ability to perform other activities, even routine activities, gets restricted. It is true for affection for all five senses. More ever, cancer of any part of the body is highly painful, leaving a traumatic experience. Both vision loss and the treatment of eye cancer are not pleasant and sometimes do not yield productive results. It also demands financial stability to combat eye cancer. Ocular melanoma is one of the cancers that could qualify the patient for Social Security disability benefits. The patients with serious ocular melanoma are eligible for monthly Social Security Disability benefits if they cannot regularly perform in the workplace.

Ocular melanoma is included in the Blue Book by The Social Security Administration. The Blue Book contains a list of conditions and guidelines that the SSA uses to decide over the disability claims and benefit eligibility of the patient.

The Blue Book is divided into 14 sections, which are designed to include different types of conditions. The cancer is listed in Section 13.00, and ocular melanoma is a part of Section 13.29, that involves “Malignant melanoma (including skin, ocular, or mucosal melanomas).” The conditions mentioned in the section that can qualify the patients for benefits when ocular melanoma-

  • Is recurrent in nature even after removal of the eye (enucleation)
  • Spread to different sites of the body like the brain, lung(s), or liver

If Ocular melanoma is aggressive, recurrent, and treatment-resistant, the patient can claim Social Security disability benefits. For this, he has to show the Social Security Administration, the disease nature through relevant medical documents to prove it. X-ray, MRI/CT scan, doctor’s notes, or biopsy reports, etc. can be deposited for this. These documents should represent the complete picture of the condition of the patient to the SSA.(1)

How Do You Stop Ocular Melanoma From Spreading?

The ways to stop ocular melanoma from spreading to other parts of the body-

Surgery – removal of the tumor or cancerous cells from the eye and removal of the complete eye can help to treat eye melanoma. It also helps to prevent the spread of the tumor cells to other parts of the body.(2)

Radiation Therapy- It is usually done after surgery. It is an effective method that utilizes a specific type of energy to disturb the activity of the cancerous cells, kill them, and prevent their further cell division. It will stop their spread to the other parts of the body. There are two types of radiation therapy:

External Radiation Therapy- it releases radiation from a specialized machine whose target is tumor site externally. It helps to limit the damage to neighboring tissue so that the tumor cannot travel to the other healthy tissues as it is focused on the target area only.(2)

Internal Radiation Therapy- in this therapy, a radioactive seed or plaque is implanted on the neighboring regions of the target site for about seven days and then removed. It releases radiation rays to the target area to damage the cancer cells. It would kill the cells in the target area and prevent their spreading.(2)

Conclusion

Ocular melanoma is a disability when one’s ability to perform routine activities is affected. In this disease, one’s vision is partially or entirely lost, that affects one’s efficiency. SSA has categorized the people with ocular melanoma who can claim disability benefits, as mentioned above. This cancer can be stopped from spreading through complete removal of cancer cells or eye followed by surgery discussed above.

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