Some questions and answers about eye cancer by Leighton Griffiths Store Director at Specsavers Opticas Marbella.
Can cancer affect the eyes?
Yes it can, although it is rare. There are two main types of cancer which can be found inside the eye, Primary Intraocular Cancer which starts inside the eyeball and Metastic Cancer, which starts somewhere else in the body and then spreads to the eye.
What are the symptoms of eye cancer?
Unfortunately this is a disease which often comes with little or no symptoms, which makes it difficult to spot. Some of the symptoms of eye cancer can include; loss of vision, seeing flashing lights, a dark spot on the iris which gradually grows, a visible lump on your eyelid and pain in and around the eye.
How can eye cancer be diagnosed?
In many cases eye cancer can be spotted during a routine eye test. For example Andrew Beckett went to Specsavers in Mallorca for an eye test after noticing his vision had become blurred and thought he needed some new glasses. During the sight test the optician immediately suspected that there was a problem with his eye and advised him to go straight to casualty to have it checked out in more detail.
Within 15 minutes of arriving at the hospital, Andrew was seen by the doctor and then referred to an eye specialist for tests. The tests revealed cancer of the eye and he was quickly admitted to hospital for an operation to remove his eye. Mr Beckett has now fully recovered from his cancer and has been fitted with a prosthetic eye and is incredibly grateful the eye test spotted the problem before the cancer spread.
There are many other conditions which can be picked up by a simple visit to the opticians, including diabetes, brain tumours and glaucoma. If necessary the optician will refer you directly for further medical examination to an Ophthalmologist or your GP for treatment. Specsavers Opticas are currently offering free sight tests.