A tumor is an abnormal growth of any tissue or structure and can be either benign or malignant. A tumor can affect any part of the eye, such as the eye socket, eyeball, eye muscles, optic nerve, fat, and tissues. Sometimes tumors grow into the eye area or tumors from other parts of the body travel to the eye. Most tumors of the eye are benign.
Basal cell carcinomas are the most frequent type of malignant tumor to affect the eyelid (85-95% of all malignant eyelid tumors). The most frequent location is the inner portion of the lower eyelid, particularly in elderly fair-skinned people. Prolonged exposure to sunlight seems to be a risk factor for developing this form of tumor.
There are many different types of basal cell carcinomas, but the nodular variety is one of the most common. It appears as a raised, firm, pearly nodule with tiny dilated blood vessels. If the nodule is in the eyelash area, some lashes may be missing. The nodule may have some superficial ulceration and crusting and look like a chalazion or stye. While these tumors are malignant, they rarely spread elsewhere in the body. For most of these tumors, surgery is the most effective treatment. In severe cases when the tumor has been neglected for a long time, it can spread into the eye socket, which may ultimately require removal of the eye and adjacent tissue.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the next most frequent malignant eyelid tumor (occurring in approximately 5% of malignant eyelid tumors.) As with basal cell carcinoma, the most common location is the lower eyelid, particularly in elderly, fair-skinned people. This tumor also appears as a raised nodule that can lead to loss of eyelashes in the involved area. When detected and treated early, the outcome for this type of tumor is excellent. However, if the tumor is neglected, it can spread to the lymph nodes in the neck. Surgery is the most effective treatment.
Sebaceous cell carcinoma originates in glands of the eyelid in elderly individuals. It is relatively rare but still accounts for 1 to 5% of malignant eyelid tumors. These are highly malignant tumors that may recur, invade the eye socket, or spread to lymph nodes. The tumor may look like a chalazion or stye, making it difficult to diagnose. Surgery is usually necessary for this type of tumor.
Malignant melanoma makes up almost 1% of all malignant eyelid tumors but accounts for many of the deaths from malignant eyelid tumors. As with any other type of malignant melanoma, these tumors on the eyelid can arise from a pre-existing nevus or mole or may arise with no other pre-existing cause. Again, these tumors tend to occur in sun-exposed areas of elderly fair-skinned people. Any pigmented area should be examined, especially if it is growing or changing color. Surgical removal is usually the recommended treatment.
97% of our patients would refer friends and family to us
My first eye exam at Boulder Eye Surgeons was very thorough and informative. The technician that gave the eye exam was very friendly and explained exactly what was going on behind these blue peepers regarding my far sightedness! Dr. Keller is my favorite eye doctor and I would recommend him for any serious eye difficulty.
I wouldn’t trust my eyes to anyone other than Boulder Eye Surgeons. THE BEST!!!
Short wait to be seen. Everyone makes you feel comfortable. Working with Chris was great. Dr. Cuevas explains things in easy to understand terms and is never condescending. He makes you feel secure in his knowledge. Dr. Cuevas is my go-to guy for eye problems.
Boulder Eye Surgeons have made it easy to visit safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. My appointment was on-time and efficiently executed. This is an outstanding ophthalmology office.
Always professional - always 'top notch'. Dr. Keller and the staff are always respectful and kind. I feel that Dr. Keller is an excellent eye surgeon that I can trust.
Pre and post cataract surgery followup with BES staff was excellent. All staff members were very knowledgeable and efficient as I called several times with questions. Surgery with Dr. Cuevas was excellent and I am very happy so far with results. Dr. Cuevas was clear and transparent with answers to my post-surgery questions and spent substantial time with me pre-surgery to make sure we came up with the best solution to meet my athletic vision requirements. I highly recommend Boulder Eye Surgeons.
The professionalism of the entire staff is impressive. Dr. Nichols spent adequate time with me explaining everything thoroughly. My daughter came with me and he took the time to address her concerns and answer her questions. The Optical department is just as 5 star as the rest of the practice. I am so grateful to these people for how they are addressing my problems with my eyes which involve a complex medical condition.
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