July 18, 2018

 

Immunotherapy for Eye Melanoma-Hope Medical Group

Melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Your eyes also have melanin-producing cells and can develop melanoma. Eye melanoma is also called ocular melanoma.

 

Most Eye Melanomas form in the part of the eye you can't see when looking in a mirror. This makes eye melanoma difficult to detect. In addition, eye melanoma typically doesn't cause early signs or symptoms.

 

Treatment is available for eye melanomas. Treatments for some small eye melanomas may not interfere with your vision. However, treatment for large eye melanomas typically causes some vision loss.

 

Symptoms

Eye melanoma may not cause signs and symptoms. When they do occur, signs and symptoms of eye melanoma can include:

 

A growing dark spot on the iris

 

A sensation of flashing lights

A change in the shape of the dark circle (pupil) at the center of your eye

Poor or blurry vision in one eye

Loss of vision in the affected eye

Causes

It's not clear what causes eye melanoma, also called ocular melanoma. Doctors know that eye melanoma occurs when errors develop in the DNA of healthy eye cells. The DNA errors tell the cells to grow and multiply out of control, so the mutated cells go on living when they would normally die. The mutated cells accumulate in the eye and form an eye melanoma.

Where eye melanoma occurs
Eye melanoma most commonly develops in the cells of the uvea, the vascular layer of your eye sandwiched between the retina, the thin layer of tissue that lines the back inner wall of your eyeball, and the white of your eye (sclera). Eye melanoma can occur in the front part of the uvea (iris and ciliary body) or in the back part of the uvea (choroid layer).

Eye melanoma can also occur on the most outer layer on the front of the eye (conjunctiva), in the socket that surrounds the eyeball and on the eyelid, though these types of eye melanoma are very rare.

Risk factors

Risk factors for primary melanoma of the eye include:

Light eye color. People with blue eyes or green eyes have a greater risk of melanoma of the eye.

Being white. White people have a greater risk of eye melanoma than do people of other races.

Increasing age. The risk of eye melanoma increases with age.

Certain inherited skin disorders. A condition called dysplastic nevus syndrome, which causes abnormal moles, may also increase your risk of developing melanoma on your skin and in your eye. In addition, people with abnormal skin pigmentation involving the eyelids and adjacent tissues and increased pigmentation on their uvea — known as oculodermal melanocytosis — also have an increased risk of developing eye melanoma.

 

Sun exposure. Some research suggests that people who repeatedly spend long hours in the sun may have an increased risk of eye melanoma compared with those who limit their sun exposure. But some studies haven't found a link between sun exposure and eye melanoma.

Complications

Complications of eye melanoma may include:


Increasing pressure within the eye (glaucoma).
A growing eye melanoma may cause glaucoma. Signs and symptoms of glaucoma may include eye pain and redness, as well as blurry vision.

 

Vision loss. Large eye melanomas often cause vision loss in the affected eye and can cause complications, such as retinal detachment, that also cause vision loss. Small eye melanomas can cause some vision loss if they occur in critical parts of the eye. You may have difficulty seeing in the center of your vision or on the side. Very advanced eye melanomas can cause complete vision loss.

 

Eye melanoma that spreads beyond the eye. Eye melanoma can spread outside of the eye and to distant areas of the body, including the liver, lungs and bones.

 

Treatment

 

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.

 

Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.

More dangerous, or malignant, tumors form when two things occur:

A cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion

That cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.

When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.

Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.

Cancer symptoms are quite varied and depend on where the cancer is located, where it has spread, and how big the tumor is. Some cancers can be felt or seen through the skin - a lump on the breast or testicle can be an indicator of cancer in those locations. Skin cancer (melanoma) is often noted by a change in a wart or mole on the skin. Some oral cancers present white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue.

Other cancers have symptoms that are less physically apparent. Some brain tumors tend to present symptoms early in the disease as they affect important cognitive functions. Pancreas cancers are usually too small to cause symptoms until they cause pain by pushing against nearby nerves or interfere with liver function to cause a yellowing of the skin and eyes called jaundice. Symptoms also can be created as a tumor grows and pushes against organs and blood vessels. For example, colon cancers lead to symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and changes in stool size. Bladder or prostate cancers cause changes in bladder function such as more frequent or infrequent urination.

As cancer cells use the body's energy and interfere with normal hormone function, it is possible to present symptoms such as fever, fatigue, excessive sweating, anemia, and unexplained weight loss. However, these symptoms are common in several other maladies as well. For example, coughing and hoarseness can point to lung or throat cancer as well as several other conditions.

When cancer spreads, or metastasizes, additional symptoms can present themselves in the newly affected area. Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes are common and likely to be present early. If cancer spreads to the brain, patients may experience vertigo, headaches, or seizures. Spreading to the lungs may cause coughing and shortness of breath. In addition, the liver may become enlarged and cause jaundice and bones can become painful, brittle, and break easily. Symptoms of metastasis ultimately depend on the location to which the cancer has spread.

There are five broad groups that are used to classify cancer.

Carcinomas are characterized by cells that cover internal and external parts of the body such as lung, breast, and colon cancer.

Sarcomas are characterized by cells that are located in bone, cartilage, fat, connective tissue, muscle, and other supportive tissues.

Lymphomas are cancers that begin in the lymph nodes and immune system tissues.

Leukemias are cancers that begin in the bone marrow and often accumulate in the bloodstream.

Adenomas are cancers that arise in the thyroid, the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, and other glandular tissues.

Cancers are often referred to by terms that contain a prefix related to the cell type in which the cancer originated and a suffix such as -sarcoma, -carcinoma, or just -oma. Common prefixes include:

Adeno- = gland

Chondro- = cartilage

Erythro- = red blood cell

Hemangio- = blood vessels

Hepato- = liver

Lipo- = fat

Lympho- = white blood cell

Melano- = pigment cell

Myelo- = bone marrow

Myo- = muscle

Osteo- = bone

Uro- = bladder

Retino- = eye

Neuro- = brain

 

Early detection of cancer can greatly improve the odds of successful treatment and survival. Physicians use information from symptoms and several other procedures to diagnose cancer. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and ultrasound scans are used regularly in order to detect where a tumor is located and what organs may be affected by it. Doctors may also conduct an endoscopy, which is a procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera and light at one end, to look for abnormalities inside the body.

 

Extracting cancer cells and looking at them under a microscope is the only absolute way to diagnose cancer. This procedure is called a biopsy. Other types of molecular diagnostic tests are frequently employed as well. Physicians will analyze your body’s sugars, fats, proteins, and DNA at the molecular level. For example, cancerous prostate cells release a higher level of a chemical called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) into the bloodstream that can be detected by a blood test. Molecular diagnostics, biopsies, and imaging techniques are all used together to diagnose cancer.

 For more information on stem cell immunotherapy for Eye Melanoma, please complete a medical form here or visit http://hopestemcell.com/cancer-immunology

 

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