Your treatment options depend on the stage of eye cancer, your overall health and your preferences about treatment. In all cases, treatment should be individualized by you. Although cancers are classified into different stages, all patients are unique.
You do not have to rush to make a decision, so consider options carefully. Ask questions if you do not understand any aspect of treatment or the terms your doctors are using. Research shows that cancer survivors of all educational levels and backgrounds can have a hard time communicating with their healthcare team. One of the best ways to improve communication with your health care team is to prepare your visits so that you can make the best of your time.
A treatment plan is a way to deal with both the short and long term goals of managing your eye cancer. There are several different treatment methods depending on the cancer stage and the patient’s age and general health. Patients have time for second opinions and to talk through all of their options with their doctors and develop a treatment plan that best fits their needs.
Eye Cancer Treatment Options
If the cancer is in one eye and the tumor is large, treatment is usually Enucleation
. Chemotherapy may be given to shrink the tumor before surgery or after surgery to lower the risk that the cancer will spread to other parts of the body.
If the cancer is in one eye and it is expected that vision can be saved, treatment may include one or more of the following:
External-Beam Radiation Therapy or Plaque Radiotherapy.
Clinical Trial of chemotherapy using more than one anticancer drug.
A clinical trial of intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, or protonb beam radiation therapy.
If the cancer is in both eyes, treatment may include one or more of the following:
Chemotherapy (chemoreduction) followed by local treatment such as cryotherapy, thermotherapy, or plaque radiotherapy. This may be done if there is a chance to save vision in both eyes.
Enucleation of one or both eyes, when vision cannot be saved.
A clinical trial of subtenon chemotherapy combined with systemic chemotherapy and local treatment.
A clinical trial of new combinations of chemotherapy and other treatments to the eye.
A clinical trial of gene therapy.
A clinical trial of ophthalmic Arterial Infusion Therapy.
Social networking and online support groups are important tools. Reaching out to others who have or have had similar experiences can provide you with valuable insights. Check out Cancer Support Community's The Living Room
for more information on clinically facilitated support online.