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What are the treatment options for uveal melanoma?

Treatment options for uveal melanoma depend on several factors, including the size and location of the tumor and the age of the person affected. A tiny tumor may require watchful waiting, monitoring the progress of the disease to see if it requires intervention. But the most common treatment is surgery. The type of surgery depends on the severity of the cancer. If the tumor is small, doctors will remove just the growth and a little bit of the surrounding tissue. If the tumor is larger, or causing complications like glaucoma, doctors may have to remove the entire eye, and in some cases, the eyelid and surrounding nerves and muscles.

Other types of treatment may be used to try to kill cancerous cells. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays directed toward the growth to destroy the cancerous cells. Photocoagulation uses a laser to destroy tumors. Thermotherapy uses heat in the form of ultrasound, microwaves or lasers to kill the melanoma cells. Targeted therapy uses chemicals designed specifically to target cancer cells by their genes. Some patients may take part in clinical trials in which new treatment options are explored.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.