The screenings your physician recommends will depend on your risk factors for developing cancer of the eye. It is important to remember that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will definitely get the disease, and having no risk factors does not mean you cannot get it.
Risk Factors for Eye Cancer
Studies have linked several factors to the risk for eye cancer:
- Fair skin and light-colored eyes
- Certain inherited conditions such as dysplastic nevus syndrome (a condition characterized by the presence of multiple irregularly shaped moles)
- High exposure to natural or artificial sunlight over extended periods of time
- A weakened immune system
- Cancer in another part of the body holds a risk of metastasizing
Screening Tests for Eye Cancer
Eye cancer is uncommon, but regular eye exams are recommended to maintain vision and general health of the eye. Frequently cancer of the eye can be identified through these screenings. By looking through the pupil at the back of the eye, doctors may be able to see a dark spot that could be an early melanoma. Those at elevated risk for eye cancer should make sure to schedule yearly eye exams, even if they do not have any symptoms.