Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma is rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.
There are no established risk factors for ocular melanoma, but it often occurs in blue-eyed, fair-skinned people over sixty years old. Treatment can be successful if the tumours in the eye are caught early. Around 50% of tumours will metastasize, usually in two to five years. Metastasis is to the liver in approximately 90% of these cases, but can also occur in the lungs, bones, brain or abdomen.
Click here to read one metastatic ocular melanoma survivor’s experienced perspective and direct guidance on the current landscape of options in ocular melanoma treatment in Canada:
More information about ocular melanoma can be found at these links:
Eye Disease Foundation, Quebec City, Quebec
Alberta Health Service: Uveal Melanoma Guideline
BC Cancer Agency
Canadian Cancer Society
Cure OM – CURE Ocular Melanoma (U.S.)
Ocular Melanoma Foundation (U.S)
Some online patient forums are discussing ocular melanoma:
Metastatic Ocular Melanoma Group – this is a closed group on Facebook, but is very active, informative, international, and worth the time for patients or their caregivers to apply to join.
Melanoma Research Foundation: Cure Ocular Melanoma Forum (U.S.)
The Eye Cancer Network (U.S.)
More links and articles of interest on the topic:
Click here to read our Survey Report, August 2018 – Save Your Skin Foundation Patient Survey: Understanding Ocular Melanoma in Canada
Ocular oncologist and research lab join forces to save patient with eye cancer – McGill University Health Centre
Uveal Melanoma Database, Vision Health Research Network, Quebec
Abstract, 2017: Percutaneous hepatic perfusion with melphalan in uveal melanoma: A safe and effective treatment modality in an orphan disease. – Southampton
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