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What is melanoma of the eyelid?

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Melanoma of the eyelid is a very rare form of ocular or eye melanoma, a type of cancer that attacks melanin, the cells that give color to the skin, reports Mayo Clinic. Early-stage ocular melanoma may display mild or no symptoms, and doctors sometimes detect it during routine eye exams, according to Medical News Today. Treatment may involve watchful waiting, surgery or radiation therapy.

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Although ocular melanoma very rarely occurs on the eyelid, the socket surrounding the eyeball or the conjunctiva, it more often develops in the tissue between the retina and the white of the eye, explains Mayo Clinic. People may be more susceptible to ocular melanoma if they have blue eyes, genetic predispositions or atypical moles on other parts of their bodies, notes Medical News Today. Exposure to sunlight may also be a risk factor. If symptoms display at all, they usually occur only in one eye and may include blurry vision, eye displacement, a dark spot in the iris or spots or flashing lights in the field of vision.

Treatment for ocular melanoma depends on the health of the patient and the stage of the cancer, states Medical News Today. If the lesion is very small, doctors may monitor it. If it is medium or large-sized, surgery or radiation therapy may be necessary to remove or destroy the cancerous cells. This often involves limited or complete loss of vision in the affected eye.

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