Ocular Melanoma (Melanoma of the Eye)

Melanoma is a malignant tumor that is formed from melanocytes - cells that contain the pigment melanin. Eye melanoma treatment in Israel is performed at Herzliya Medical Center private hospital by laser therapy, radiotherapy, cryotherapy and other non-invasive procedures. Treatment for eye melanoma may not interfere with your vision.

Melanocytes - pigment cells - are located mainly in the skin, but a number of them are also present in the eyeball. Ocular melanocytes may become a source of melanoma. In most cases, melanoma affects the internal structures of the eyeball, not visible by self-examination. Such melanoma is difficult to diagnose at early stages. Furthermore, few eye melanomas at the initial stages have marked clinical signs. Eye Melanoma tend to be localized at the choroid, situated between the retina (photosensitive layer) and the sclera (outer white connective tissue sheath). The tumor can form in any part of the choroid: the iris, ciliary (ciliates) body or the choroid. Much rarer cases of malignant melanoma are those of the conjunctiva and eyelid skin.

Ocular Melanoma Treatment

In Israel, treatment of eye melanoma takes into account the stage of the disease and the exact location of the tumor. The removal of small size eye melanoma typically degrades the quality of view, but does not lead to its loss. When you remove a large eye melanoma, there might be a complete loss of vision in the affected eye.

Ocular Melanoma Symptoms

Melanoma of the eye in the early stages may be asymptomatic. Subsequently the following signs of illness develop:

Dark spot on the iris of the eye, gradually increasing in diameter
Blurred vision in one eye: blurred smudged, narrowing of the field of view, the emergence of the field of view of foreign objects ("grains" or flashes of light)
Changing of the shape of the pupil

Complications of ocular melanoma

Glaucoma - increased intraocular pressure
Loss of vision due to progressive growth of melanoma or retinal detachment
Formation of secondary foci (metastases) in the lungs, liver or bone tissue. All patients with melanoma of the eye within the diagnosis and treatment of the cancer in Israel undergo an in-depth survey, aimed at identifying metastases.

Diagnosis of Ocular Melanoma

For suspected ocular melanoma, ophthalmologists at Herzliya Medical Center recommend that patients undergo the following diagnostic tests:

  • A thorough eye examination; the study of the external and internal structures of the eyeball
  • Biomicroscopy – a research of the structures of the eyeball using a slit lamp microscope and stereotactic
  • Eye Ultrasound - scanning structures of the eyeball and orbit
  • Angiography - Researches vessels in the eye with the use of a contrast agent
  • Biopsy - a small sample of the fence tumor tissue and a histopathological examination

Diagnosis and treatment of eye melanoma in Israel include the assessment of the stage of the cancer process. For this purpose, the following diagnostic tools are recommended:

  • Computed tomography
  • Radiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasonography of the abdomen

Ocular Melanoma Treatment in Israel

Surgical treatment of eye melanoma in Israel is to excise the tumor and a small area of ​​healthy tissue around its periphery or an enucleation surgery - removal of the eyeball.

Indication for surgery enucleation are large or painful ocular melanomas. In such situations, the eyeball is removed and replaced with a prosthesis which is chosen according to the size and color of your eyes. The prosthesis is combined with eye muscles to mimic the natural movements of the eyeball.

Oncology treatment in Israel is often done using radiation therapy - the impact on the cancer with radioactive radiation. Ocular melanomas at Herzliya Medical Center are treated by the technique of brachytherapy, which is applied to the affected eye with an applicator, a container with radioactive material. The course of local irradiation of melanoma continues for 4-5 days, and after the applicator is removed. Alternatively, or in addition to brachytherapy proton therapy – the exposure of the tumor to the proton beam can be used.

Laser therapy and cryotherapy

Ablative procedures - laser therapy and cryotherapy consist in the destruction of the tumor without performing surgery. Laser therapy, also called thermotherapy, is carried out using an infrared laser. Its beam causes heating and destruction of cancerous cells. Laser therapy is often combined with radiation therapy to reduce the risk of disease recurrence.

Cryotherapy is used for medium-sized melanomas of the eye. It is a quick freeze tumors when exposed to liquid nitrogen. When small eye melanomas are present, cryotherapy can be used as an independent method of treatment, with larger - as an auxiliary.

Treatment of patients with melanoma of the eye at Herzliya Medical Center is performed with the participation of ophthalmologists, oncologists, radiologists and representatives of other fields of medicine. The integrated multidisciplinary approach and individually tailored treatment regimen improves overall prognosis and in most cases allow you to keep the healthy function of the eyes.


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