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Conditions We Treat

Adult Ocular Oncology

The eye cancer specialists at Phoenix Children’s work with other cancer leaders to provide complete, multispecialty care for your condition.

We provide screening, consultation and therapies for primary eye cancer that starts in the eye, secondary cancer that spreads to the eye, and a full range of related conditions or complications. 

Eye Cancer Types and Warning Signs

Symptoms of eye cancer vary, depending on the type of cancer, where it begins and whether it has spread. When talking about ocular (eye) cancers, doctors may use the following terms:

  • Intraocular –  Cancer beginning on the inside of your eye
  • Extraocular – Cancer affecting the outside of your eye   
  • Metastatic – Cancer that has metastasized or spread
  • Primary eye cancer – Cancer that originates in the eye
  • Secondary eye cancer – Cancer that begins in another part of the body and spreads to the eye

Symptoms of Eye Cancer

It’s important to recognize and report early signs of potential cancer, which may include:

  • A freckle-like spot on the colored iris of your eye
  • Any spot, mole or elevated mark on your eye
  • Any changes on the eye’s surface,
  • Changes in vision
  • Flashes of light
  • New floaters (drifting, shadowy spots or strands)

Eye Cancers and Related Conditions  

At Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we work as part of a multispecialty team to treat benign (noncancerous) tumors and a wide variety of cancers, including ocular melanoma – the most common eye cancer in adults. Conditions we treat include:

Uveal Melanoma

Melanoma affects pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. It typically develops as skin cancer, but can also affect other parts of the body. Uveal melanoma develops in your eye’s uvea, which includes the iris and certain tissues, structures and blood vessels inside the eye. It may appear as a raised mass on your eye that is brown or amelanotic (little or no color). Learn more.

Conjunctival Tumors

These cancers develop on the conjunctiva – a clear membrane covering the white part of your eye or the inside of your eyelid. They include:

  • Conjunctival melanoma – This melanoma may look like a black spot on your eye. It can spread quickly and requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – This cancer usually develops in the thin, flat or scaly squamous cells of the skin, but it can also occur on the transparent surface of your eye. Although it is slow growing, it can spread to other tissues.

Metastatic Tumors (Cancer that Spreads to Other Areas)

Primary eye cancer begins in the eye and can metastasize or spread from the eyes to eyelids or other parts of the body. Secondary eye cancer occurs when tumors spread from other parts of your body to the eye.

The multispecialty doctors at Phoenix Children’s treat these secondary cancers as they would a primary eye cancer that starts in the eye. Our ocular oncologists coordinate care with the oncologist who is treating your primary cancer.

Other Cancers and Conditions

At Phoenix Children’s Hospital, skilled doctors and other practitioners collaborate across medical specialties to treat all types of tumors, including iris tumors, rare eye lymphomas and other cancers, and related health conditions or complications.

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