Find an Eye Cancer Specialist
At Houston Methodist Cancer Center, our ocular oncologists use a multidisciplinary approach to screen, diagnose and treat eye cancers, including uveal melanoma.
Why Choose Houston Methodist for Eye Cancer Treatment
Houston Methodist recruits the most highly trained ocular specialists in the nation. Many of our patients travel internationally to receive eye cancer treatment from our experts.
Our team includes radiation oncologists, ocular oncologists, radiation physicists and eye pathologists who work together to provide compassionate, lifelong care to those diagnosed with eye cancer. We ensure you receive the most advanced treatment for your specific eye cancer, designing a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Our commitment to excellence minimizes damage to healthy eye parts while maximizing the effectiveness of treatment.
Our experts conduct clinical research on nearly every type of eye cancer. We also provide access to clinical trials offering potentially promising treatments for uveal melanoma, as well as smaller tumors near critical eye structures, such as the macula and optic nerve.
Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Treat Eye Cancer While Preserving Vision
Our ocular oncologists treat the most severe form of eye cancer using precision radiation therapy that leverages customized ocular discs. As one of only a few hospitals in the country performing this advanced procedure, we target and destroy eye tumors while preserving vision — with virtually no chance of recurrence.
About Eye Cancer
What Are the Symptoms of Eye Cancer?
The symptoms of eye cancer include:
- Difficulty seeing or focusing
- Losing part of the field of vision
- Flashes of light in the field of vision
- Spots (often called floaters) in the field of vision
- A dark spot appearing on the iris
- Inflammation or redness of the eyes
- Photophobia – oversensitivity to light
- Discomfort or pain in the eyes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away so the cause can be diagnosed and treated promptly. Keep in mind that these symptoms may be the result of a condition other than 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.
Risk factors for eye cancer include:
- 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
- Having a weakened immune system
- Cancer in another part of the body that holds a risk of metastasizing
How Is Eye Cancer Diagnosed?
If eye cancer is suspected, your doctor will first examine your eyes closely using a lighted instrument called an ophthalmoscope to check for dark spots.
Sometimes a thorough eye exam is all that is needed to diagnose eye cancer.
In other cases, one or more of the following tests may be needed, including:
- Ultrasound – uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of the eyeball. After eye drops are used to numb the eye, a small wand is held against the eyeball to send out and receive sound waves. The waves create a picture called a sonogram, which the technician can see in real time on a computer screen.
- Fluorescein angiography – uses a fluorescent dye to show the blood vessels in the eye. It is most often used to rule out eye problems other than cancer.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan – uses X-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the eye.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – uses powerful magnets and pulses of radio wave energy to create pictures of the eye. A doctor may inject dye (contrast material) into the eye to help make it easier to see the differences in the tissues of the eye.
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy – used to confirm uveal melanoma, perform genomic analysis of tumor cells and perform genomic research. Genomic analysis helps determine the risk of developing metastatic disease (cancer that spreads from the eye to other parts of the body).
What Eye Cancer Treatment Options Are Available?
At Houston Methodist, we are dedicated to providing leading-edge treatment options for eye cancer. Our goal is to provide effective treatments, while preserving vision.