What is Ocular Melanoma?
Written by: Daniel Porter
Sep. 01, 2016
Ocular melanoma (melanoma in or around the eye) is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce pigment. Pigment is the substance that gives your skin, hair and eyes color. Just as you can develop melanoma on your skin, you can also develop it in your eye. Although it is the most common eye cancer in adults, ocular melanoma is very rare.
Ocular melanomas usually begin in the middle of the three layers of your eye. The outer layer of your eye is the sclera. The innermost layer is the retina. The middle layer between the sclera and retina is called the uvea.
Though these types are rare, eye melanoma can also occur on the conjunctiva.
Because most eye melanomas form in the part of the eye you can’t see when looking in a mirror, they can be difficult to detect. Also, eye melanoma typically doesn’t cause early signs or symptoms. Most melanomas are detected during a routine eye exam. That’s why it is so important to see your ophthalmologist regularly.