What is Ocular Melanoma?
Ocular Melanoma (OM) is the most common form of cancer that occurs in the eye. Every year, approximately 2,500 American adults are diagnosed with ocular melanoma (OM). OM is an aggressive malignant cancer that starts in the pigment cells that produce eye color and tends to occur in people with light skin pigmentation and more typically, blue or green eyes and who are over age 50. However, OM also can occur in individuals of every race and at any age. For about 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with OM, the cancer may be fatal, because it metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body. OM is considered a silent killer. There are no early warning signs, and it is difficult to see when studying your eyes in the mirror.
How is Ocular Melanoma Detected?
Ocular melanoma is typically detected during a routine dilated eye exam. The importance of scheduling regular appointments for many types of “silent” eye diseases cannot be over emphasized.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Ocular Melanoma?
Sometime people with Ocular Melanoma may experience blurred vision, a change in the shape of the pupil, flashing lights in their vision, loss of vision in the affected eye or a dark spot on the iris-or have no symptoms whatsoever. Researchers have discovered that people with OM tend to have certain gene mutations, which could suggest there is a strong genetic component to the disease. However, scientists have not concluded that these abnormalities are the cause. They believe there may be a connection between the development of OM and prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial light, such as from tanning beds, but there is not significant research confirming this link.
If you or someone you know is concerned about the risk of Ocular Melanoma (OM) please be sure to call The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999, visit The Eye Care & Surgery Center or facebook.com/eyecareandsurgerycenter to schedule an appointment.
The Eye Care & Surgery Center is located at 592 Springfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090, 10 Mountain Boulevard, Warren, New Jersey 07059 and 517 Route One South, Suite 1100, Iselin, New Jersey 08830, and is conveniently located for patients from throughout central and northern New Jersey.