Optometrist shares tips for spotting cancer in your eyes

An optometrist has outlined cancer symptoms that can strike in your eyes.

Eye cancer claims around 850 new victims every year in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK.

Roshni Patel, optometrist from Lenstore, said: “There are two new cases of eye cancer in the UK every day.  

“While eye cancer is currently not among the 20 most common cancers in the UK, accounting for less than one percent of all new cases, eye cancer incidence rates have increased by more than a quarter since the 1990s.”

Fortunately, the optometrist shared the signs that could identify the condition early and help get a prompt diagnosis.

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There are several different types of eye cancers to be aware of, according to Patel.

1. Choroidal melanomas 

The eye expert explained that this cancer type usually occurs at the back of the eye on the choroid, which lies behind your retina.  

While choroidal melanomas may present with no symptoms in some cases, signs like reduced vision, flashing lights and floaters may ring alarm bells.

Patel said: “These symptoms are also common in conditions such as retinal detachments, which is also very serious. Either way, go and see your optician as soon as possible.”

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2. Retinoblastoma 

Mostly seen in young children, this type of eye cancer usually starts in the retina. 

The most common red flags of retinoblastoma are a white reflection (rather than red) from the pupil after flash photography, a turn in direction of the affected eye, and reduced vision.  

The optometrist said: “Although, the latter may be hard to communicate by a child, ways to notice this is if the child keeps rubbing their eye (affected eye), or becomes distressed when their good eye is covered.  

“Should you suspect anything is wrong with your child’s eye, do not hesitate to book them an appointment with the optician or GP as soon as possible.”

3. Metastatic or secondary cancers 

From breast cancer to lung cancer, metastatic cancers can spread from other parts of the body into your eyes.

Symptoms to look out for include reduced or distorted vision, flashing lights and floaters. 

Patel added: “Should you experience any unusual symptoms with your eyes, remember, eye cancers are rare and there may be another underlying, less serious cause. 

“However, whatever the symptom, it is recommended you get it checked by your optician as soon as possible.”

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