Eye cancer

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Treatment of intraocular melanoma of the choroid

The following are treatment options for all stages of the intraocular melanoma of the choroid. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer and the status of their vision.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy may be offered for small- to medium-sized choroidal melanomas. It is usually reserved for less extensive choroidal melanomas. The types of radiation therapy treatment that may be used include:

  • brachytherapy
  • stereotactic radiation therapy
  • proton beam radiation therapy

Radiation may also be given before enucleation for treating large choroidal melanomas.

Surgery

Surgery may be offered for small-, medium- and large-sized choroidal melanomas. The types of surgeries include:

  • tumour resection – for certain small anterior choroidal melanomas
    • Sclerouvectomy surgery is reserved for small tumours. It removes the choroidal tumour, but not the eye.
  • enucleation – the standard treatment for treating large choroidal melanomas
    • Enucleation may also be used for small- or medium-sized tumours that have spread to the optic nerve or cause increased pressure within the eye (secondary glaucoma) or useful vision cannot be maintained.

Active surveillance

Active surveillance may be an option for some people with a small, slow-growing melanoma of the choroid. Treatment is given if the tumour begins to grow.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery, including transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT), is not used as a primary treatment for melanoma of the choroid. It is sometimes given as an additional (adjuvant) treatment.

Clinical trials

People with intraocular melanoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.

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