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Cancer in the eye, most of the time, does not cause any apparent signs or symptoms, and can happen in people of any age. However, retinoblastoma, for example, is more common in children up to 5 years old, while ocular melanoma is more common in people between 45 and 75 years old and who have light eyes.
As in most cases no symptoms are noticed, it is common for the diagnosis to only occur in the later stage of the disease, so that the treatment can be more aggressive, in addition to there may also be a greater risk of metastasis in others organs such as brain, lung and liver, for example.
So, if you notice changes in the eyes at the time of the photo, involuntary eye movement, strabismus or blurred vision, for example, it is recommended that the ophthalmologist be consulted, so that the diagnosis can be made and the treatment started soon after.
The signs and symptoms of eye cancer are not frequent, but they appear more easily when the disease is already at a more advanced stage, the main ones being:
- Decreased visual capacity, which may lead to loss of vision in one eye;
- Blurred and limited vision in one eye;
- Peripheral vision loss;
- Changes in pupil shape;
- Emergence of eye spot;
- White reflection in the center of the eye, mainly noticed in flash photos;
- Change in eye color;
- Appearance of "flies" in vision or sensation of lightning.
In the case of small children, as they cannot speak, it is possible that the child often puts his hand to his eye and has difficulty identifying and picking up nearby objects, for example. Learn more about retinoblastoma.
Furthermore, in cases of metastasis, it is also possible for symptoms to arise that are related to the site of spread and proliferation of cancer cells, and there may be pulmonary, brain or liver symptoms, mainly.
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of eye cancer is made by the ophthalmologist through a routine eye exam, in addition to evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the person and more specific tests, such as retinography, angiography, retinal mapping and ocular ultrasound.
In the case of newborns and babies up to 2 years old, the little eye test can be performed, also known as the red reflex test, which aims to evaluate all the structures of the eye, allowing the diagnosis of eye diseases. Understand how the eye test is done.
If the diagnosis is confirmed, other tests may also be requested in order to check for metastasis. TGO/AST, TGP/ALT and GGT, since the liver is the main site of metastasis of ocular melanoma.
How the treatment is done
Treatment aims to preserve eye tissues and vision, however the type of treatment depends on the size of the tumor and its location, in addition to whether there has been metastasis or not.
In the case of small or medium-sized tumors, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or laser therapy are usually indicated, however when the tumor is large, surgery may be necessary to remove the tumor and nearby tissues.
In some cases it may be necessary to remove the eye, this procedure being called enucleation, however it is quite aggressive and, therefore, it is only indicated when previous treatments had no effect or when the chance of metastasis is high. too big.