Cancer can strike any part of a person’s body—eyes are no exception. Eye cancer is also referred to as eye melanoma. Just like with any other type of cancer or disease, eye cancer has a set of different risk factors and potential causes that make a person’s chances of developing eye cancer greater. It is important to know what these risk factors are in order to be prepared.
Some risk factors include the following:
- Lighter Eye Colours- people with lighter eyes are more likely to develop eye cancer than people with dark eyes
- Age and Gender- eye cancer can develop at any time but the risk goes up as you get older. It is also more common in men than in women.
- Certain Inherited Conditions – people with dysplastic nevus syndrome (many abnormal moles on skin), oculodermalmelanocytosis/ nevus of Ota(brown spots on the uvea), and BAP1 cancer syndrome (rare) are at a higher risk of developing eye cancer.
Some other risk factors that remain unproven are:
- Sun exposure- to much exposure to genuine and artificial sunlight can cause all types of melanoma including uveal or conjunctival melanoma of the eye.
- Skin melanoma- those with history of skin melanoma have an increased risk of getting eye melanoma.
- Smoking- smoking affects all parts of the body, including the eyes and increases risk of eye melanoma.
You can’t change your age, eye colour, or preexisting conditions, but there are other things that you can do to decrease your chances of developing eye cancer. Not smoking, wearing sunglasses, and other sun protection is just the beginning. Also, be sure to visit your optometrist at least once a year to ensure that your eyes stay in a healthy condition. If you are looking for an Eye Clinic that prioritizes eye health, call us at one of our locations to book an appointment for a retinal image and we’ll be happy to assist you. At Dr. D’Orio Eye Care we use retinal imaging to better diagnose and treat eye conditions. Latest technology like the Optos allows us to scan the retina for signs of various health conditions. Book your appointment today.