How is skin cancer on the eyelid treated?

The treatment of choice for skin cancer on the eyelid is excision or removal of the cancer. This is critically important. Ignoring eyelid growths for several years can result in removal of the entire eye socket. This is not common but points to the fact that eyelid cancer needs to be removed as soon as possible.

Several types of surgery are used in the treatment of ocular melanoma. These involve removing different portions of the eye, depending on the growth of the cancer. The other major treatment for this melanoma is a radiation therapy technique called brachytherapy. This method involves placing a batch of radioactive particles near the tumor. It has a very high success rate, although it is less likely to work if the cancer is near the nerve connecting the eye to the brain. Other treatments are rare and may involve the use lasers or cold to target the tumor.

Dr. Laura C. Fine, MD
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)
Although skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, when it affects the eyelids, it is wise to consult an ocuplastic specialist about treatment in order to preserve eyelid function and vision while achieving the best cosmetic results. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Although each type has its own telltale signs, the safest strategy is to periodically examine your eyelids for any unusual growths that change color or shape, and alert your ophthalmologist if you notice anything unusual. The doctor can then examine the lesion and decide whether it should be biopsied. If a lesion proves to be cancerous, an ocuplastic surgeon will remove it and reconstruct the eyelid as necessary.

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