A member asked:
my mother had to have her eye removed about 4 years ago due to a cancer tumour behind it. she has had to have regular 6 month ch my mother had to have her eye removed about 4 years ago due to a cancer tumour behind it. she has had to have regular 6 month
2 doctor answers
Dr. Lauren Stegman answered
27 years experience Radiation Oncology
The : The most common type of eye tumor to spread to the liver is something called choroidal melanoma. A MRI is the appropriate first step to find out what is going on. A biopsy and/or pet/ct scan might be needed thereafter. If there are only 3 lesions in the liver they could potentially be removed surgically, destroyed with focused radiation (radiosurgery) or even burned out with something called radiofrequency ablation. The choice of which of these procedures would be appropriate is dependent on many factors requiring the expertise of an experienced cancer treatment team. If there are more lesions in the liver or in other parts of the body, these more focused treatments are unlikely to help her significantly. In this situation, consideration could be given to inserting radiation beads into the liver through the artery going to the liver to try to kill all the tumor or to a "systemic" treatment that goes throughout the body through the blood. Unfortunately, chemotherapy sometimes does not work very well for choroidal melanomas. There are however new non-chemotherapy medications that have been approved for skin melanomas that may work for eye melanomas as well. One of these actually stops a gene that is damaged in some melanoma cells and causes them to grow. It sort of puts a block under the accelerator pedal causing the cells to grow and divide and stops them in their tracks. The other medicine actually is a purified antibody (a component of our natural immune system) that helps the rest of the immune system more easily find and kill the abnormal melanoma cells. Sometimes these drugs can produce near miraculous shrinkage of tumors and can give some people a significant amount more quality time. Unfortunately again, they work well in a minority of patients, and are not a cure as the cancer "figures out" a way to grow around them. I wish you and your family the best.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
Dr. Andrew Dahl answered
55 years experience Ophthalmology
Malignant melanoma: The most common primary tumor of the eye in adults treated with removal of the (enucleation) is malignant melanoma. This is the most likely diagnosis from the limited information given to me. Secondary eye tumors include breast and lung sources. These are not commonly treated with enucleation. It appears that the six month visits are to make sure that the tumor has not spread.
Answered on Dec 8, 2018
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