Eyelid tumors are abnormal growths around the eyes that may be either benign or malignant. Skin cancer can affect many different parts of your skin, including the eyelid.
The most common eyelid tumor types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Other less common eyelid tumor types are sebaceous carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and melanoma. While basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignant type of tumor, several other types may occur along the eyelid as well. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of these lesions can be vision- and life-saving.
What are common eyelid cancer symptoms?
The most common sign of an eyelid tumor is a new growth on the eyelid. Many people have benign (non-cancerous) growths, but malignant (cancerous) growths are characterized by changes in colour, bleeding and ulceration. An eyelid tumor is usually painless. Also, there is often eyelash loss and sometimes a “notch” in the eyelid.
Are certain people more likely to develop eyelid cancer than others? If so, who?
People with fair skin (people with blue eyes and red or blonde hair) are more likely to develop an eyelid cancer than others. People who are immunosuppressed or have had previous radiation to the face also are at greater risk. Those with a history of cancers elsewhere in the body or a strong family history of tumors are also at a greater risk.
What can people do to lower their chances of developing eyelid cancer?
The best way is to protect yourself from the sun. Wearing a wide brimmed hat or sunglasses and using sunscreen is a must if you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time.
Also keep your immune system strong. Don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol to excess and try to manage your stress.
How is an eyelid tumor treated?
Most localized lesions can be completely removed followed by reconstruction. The eyelid plays a very important role in protecting the health of your eye. As a specialized eyelid and orbital surgeon, Dr Bedi uses nuanced surgical techniques to reconstruct the eyelid back to its normal function and appearance after surgery. Surgery can be performed in the operating room or in a clinic by a specially trained oculoplastic surgeon.
In some cases, patients require other therapies such as topical medication, radiation, or chemotherapy. At your consultation, Dr Bedi will advise you of the suggested treatment plan and collaborate with other colleagues with adjuvant therapy is necessary.
Who is at risk for an eyelid tumor recurrence?
Recurrence can happen if the tumor is not removed completely. Many eyelid tumors spread to the adjacent tissue, making it tricky to completely remove them. This is why it is important to receive treatment from a specialized oculoplastic surgeon who is experienced in eyelid cancer treatment.