Eye Cancer Symptoms & Early Warning Signs in Adults

Eye doctor examining older patient

Ocular Cancer, commonly referred to as “eye cancer,” starts when healthy cells throughout the eye begin to experience uncontrollable change and grow, this causes the growth of tumors. While ocular cancer is rare there are two basic types of ocular cancer that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Primary Intraocular Cancer: With adults, this type of ocular cancer most commonly develops into melanoma of the eye and intraocular lymphoma. About 300 children per year, under the age of five, develop a form of primary intraocular cancer called retinoblastoma—a cancer that begins in the cells of the retina.
  • Secondary Intraocular Cancer: This type of ocular cancer is caused by cancer spreading to the eyes from other parts of the body. This is the most common form of ocular cancer, and is generally spread from breast and lung cancer.

The symptoms of ocular cancer are drastically different in adults and children. Generally, ocular cancer symptoms are determined by the type of cancer. The most common symptoms of ocular cancer in adults are floating specks in your field of vision (though this symptom alone is not enough to cause worry), red or watery eyes, bulging eyes, chronic eye pain, blurring vision, and dark spots appearing on the iris.

Researchers are looking into how changes in DNA inside your cells can cause cells to become cancerous, but the cause of eye cancer is not easily identified. The best way to assure you are not developing any form of eye cancer is to make sure you are getting your eyes regularly checked by your eye doctor.

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