El Centro Ocular Melanoma Treatment

If a biopsy of a suspicious looking spot confirms an ocular melanoma diagnosis, the experienced ophthalmologists at California Retina Associates can help. We are very knowledgeable about the rare cancer and offer a comprehensive range of ways to treat it.

In El Centro, ocular melanoma treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy and other procedures to destroy the cancer cells. After learning more about the history and severity of your disease, we can review your treatment options and determine the most suitable course of action. Depending on your particular case, we may recommend a single treatment or a combination of methods. We always try to suggest treatments least likely to result in any loss of vision.

Surgical Removal of the Melanoma

The standard treatment for ocular melanoma is surgery to remove the tumor. Exactly how much tissue is removed depends on the size and thickness of the melanoma; normally we also remove a small layer or “margin” of healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.

In rare cases of exceptionally large tumors, we may need to remove the eye and replace it with an artificial eye. This procedure is known as enucleation.

Although surgical removal is very effective, it is cannot control ocular melanoma that has spread to other areas of the body like the liver, lungs or bones. In those cases, surgery may be combined with another therapy like radiation or chemotherapy.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is frequently recommended for small and medium size tumors. There are several different types of radiation, each with their own set of pros and cons.

Brachytherapy, or plaque radiation, is common for ocular melanomas. In this approach, our El Centro ocular melanoma treatment team attaches a small plaque containing radioactive material to the wall of the eye, right next to the tumor. The design of the plaque is meant to destroy the tumor without affecting the adjacent healthy tissue. After four to five days, the plaque is removed.

Another radiation option is external beam radiation, which involves using a source outside the body to deliver focused doses of radiation to the melanoma. Very narrow beams of light are used to target the cancerous tissue while leaving the surrounding normal tissue largely untouched. Normally a series of radiation treatments are delivered over the course of a few days.

Transpupillary Thermotherapy

Transpupillary thermotherapy entails using an infrared laser beam to heat and kill the cancer cells. It is normally used in cases of small melanomas because the laser may not be able to penetrate thicker tumors. Transpupillary thermotherapy is often administered in one to three separate treatments, sometimes in combination with radiation therapy.

Ocular Melanoma Treatment Mexicali, Calexico, Yuma, AZ

Residents of El Centro and the nearby areas don’t have to travel to San Diego or Phoenix to find quality ocular melanoma treatment. California Retina Associates has an office location near Southwest High School and El Centro Regional Medical Center to treat people in Imperial Valley and beyond. Our facility serves the entire surrounding area, including the following communities:

  • Brawley
  • Plaster City
  • Glamis
  • Calexico
  • Mexicali
  • Yuma, AZ

Contact California Retina Associates

To book an appointment with the California Retina Associate El Centro team, please call 760.352.7755 or send us an email today. We look forward to hearing from you.