• Consumer Health: Did you know that melanoma can begin in the eye?

a medical illustration of intraocular melanoma

Melanoma is a type of cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. According to the American Cancer Society, while melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers, it causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.

Your eyes also have melanin-producing cells and can develop melanoma. Eye melanoma, also called ocular melanoma, most often forms in the part of the eye you can't see when looking in a mirror. This makes it difficult to detect.

Treatment options will depend on the location and size of the eye melanoma, as well as your overall health and preferences. Treatment may include radiation, laser therapy and surgical removal of part or all of the affected eye.

Learn about the symptoms and risk factors for eye melanoma.

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