Uveal melanoma

Uveal melanoma is a rare malignant cancer, affecting seven people in every million each year.

What is a uveal melanoma ?

A uveal melanoma is the most common type of eye tumour. It develops from cells called melanocytes, which are found in the uvea (the middle layer of tissue around the eyeball that includes the choroid, the ciliary body and the iris). Uveal melanomas usually affect one eye only.

What causes uveal melanoma?

There is no known cause of uveal melanoma, and it is not linked to skin melanoma. It is a very rare form of cancer affecting between only five and seven people in every million each year. It is more common in fair skinned, blue-eyed people. The average age from which an ocular melanoma develops is 55 years.

What are the symptoms of a uveal melanoma?

For some people there may not be any symptoms and the tumour is found during a routine eye test. For others, it can cause visual disturbances such as flashing lights or a shadow.

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