Treatment Options for Ocular Melanoma

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Retina Associates

Retina Associates of Tucson, Arizona, offers one of the largest ocular oncology programs in the southwestern United States. At Retina Associates, Dr. Cameron Javid provides treatment for ocular melanomas and similar conditions.

Treatment of an ocular melanoma depends largely on the stage of the tumor. The smallest ones, for example, may simply require observation to assess whether they will grow and cause problems. If diagnosis of the tumor indicates that treatment is needed, the patient may undergo radiation or surgery.

For less sizable tumors, the attending physician is likely to recommend radiotherapy. For ocular melanomas, this most often takes the form of brachytherapy, which involves placing a tiny radioactive plaque which looks like a small disc right next to the tumor. Other patents may receive procedures such as proton beam radiotherapy, which treats the tumor with a focused stream of proton particles.

Patients with larger tumors may undergo enucleation, which involves the full removal of the eye itself. In addition, each tumor undergoes a biopsy for genetic testing and gives very valuable Information regarding prognosis. This information gives the percentage of metastatic spread during the first five years and helps with the frequency and need for ongoing blood tests and CT scans to monitor the body for the potential of tumor spread.