San Diego Ocular Melanoma Treatment

Treating ocular melanoma is different for every patient. The recommended treatment strategy depends on factors like where the cancer is located, the type and size of the tumor and the patient’s medical record and current health status.

California Retina Associates is the practice of choice for individuals seeking ocular melanoma treatment in San Diego and beyond. Our renowned ophthalmologists are prepared with a wide range of treatments for ocular melanoma. We always have our patients’ best interests in mind and are with patients every step of the way. After an ocular melanoma diagnosis, the next step is for us to lay out the possible treatment options and recommend what is most likely to eradicate the cancer and prevent it from recurring.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy involves destroying the genetic material of cancer cells to stop them from multiplying. Using high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation, our team can target only the mutated cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. There are a few different types of radiation:

Plaque radiation involves placing small pellets or seeds of radioactive material in or near the tumor to shrink it. The pellet or seed is stitched onto the outside of the eyeball and remains in place for about four to five days. Also known as brachytherapy, plaque radiation normally requires an operation to place the radioactive material and carrier and then remove it. It can take three to six months to see the effect of radiation on the tumor. The best advantage of this strategy is that it brings the radiation to the melanoma so it doesn’t have to move through healthy tissue and organs.

Teletherapy or proton beam radiotherapy involves using an external source of radiation and directing a focused dose of it at the tumor to shrink it. Small rings are placed around the periphery of the tumor to direct the beams of radiation. The primary advantage of teletherapy is that it can access tumors of any size or in any location.

Surgery for Ocular Melanoma

Our San Diego ocular melanoma treatment team may recommend surgically removing the tumor from the eye, particularly when the tumor is large or affects the iris. Surgery may remove the tumor through a hole in the retina or an opening in the wall of the eye. Part of the iris may also be removed adjacent to the tumor if needed. Sometimes, in cases of particularly large tumors, the removal of the eye becomes necessary. When that happens, an artificial eye can be placed in the socket to replace it.

Treating Ocular Melanoma in San Diego

One of our primary goals with treating ocular melanoma in San Diego is to target the cancerous cells and limit damage to other parts of the eye. This is something that will be discussed at length during consultation to determine the best treatment strategy.

In some cases where the tumor is very small, it may not require any treatment at first; we may recommend watching it closely to see if it grows and causes any complications.

To learn more about ocular melanoma treatment, please contact one of the three locations of California Retina Associates. Call 619-425-7755 or 760-352-7755 to make an appointment at the office most convenient to you.