Benign and malignant cancers can sometimes attack the eyes. Left untreated, ocular tumors threaten not only a person’s vision, but his or her life as well.

Choroidal melanoma is a malignant cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth within the eye. It occurs most frequently in patients 60 to 65 years old. Retinoblastoma, a cancer originating in the retina, is most common in children under five. Nationwide, over 500 new cases of retinoblastoma are diagnosed every year. Ocular cancers also include those that spread to the eyes from other parts of the body, especially breast, lung and bowel cancer.

Symptoms of eye cancer include blurry vision, distorted vision, blind spots, decreased side vision, white pupils, strabismus, red eye, eye pain and complete vision loss. Sometimes ocular tumors present no symptoms at all. For information about the various ways to treat eye cancer, read about the Eye Institute’s Ocular Oncology service.