What is eyelid cancer?
A world has known fact-skin cancer can affect different parts of our body. The area around the eyes is perhaps the most sensitive and the thinnest on the skin. The area is, however, one of the most common sites for skin cancer. The skin cancer that occurs in the eyelid region can be termed eyelid carcinoma. Research showed that almost about 5 to 10% of skin cancer occurs on the eyelid.
Eyelid carcinomas can be of numerous varieties. The most common amongst them are basal cell carcinomas. Around 90% of eyelid carcinoma includes basal cell carcinoma, followed by squamous cell carcinoma. Sebaceous carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and melanoma are the lesser-known variety of eyelid cancer.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EYELID CANCER
An eyelid tumor is often painless and one may not even notice it, being developed. Symptoms of eyelid carcinoma include-
1. New growth of eyelid.
2. A lump that bleeds or develops a crust or a scar.
3. A notch.
4. An itchy, tender spot.
5. Loss of eyelashes.
6. A flesh-colored brown scar.
A person should immediately rush to the doctor if he or she experiences the above-mentioned symptoms. Cancer could be treated better and easier if reported early.
WHAT CAUSES EYELID CARCINOMA? WHAT ARE THE RISKS
The most common cause of eyelid cancer is excess exposure to the sun. The ultraviolet radiation generated by the sun can damage the DNA of the skin which may further result in the development of tumors. Fair-skinned people are the ones with the highest risk to develop eyelid carcinoma. Melanin, a special component that gives us the tone of our skin and protects us from the UV rays is present in very little amount in people with fair skin. People who have had been exposed to radiation as in therapy or have had immunosuppression too, are at high risk. People who have had a history of skin cancer are also likely to get caught by this disease. Age is also a risk factor for eyelid tumors. People beyond 50 years of age likely develop the disease. Fragile skin is another factor for the development of eyelid carcinoma. The more fragile skin you have, the more risk for you to develop an eyelid tumor.
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PREVENTION-WHAT CAN ONE DO TO PREVENT EYELID CARCINOMA
The best way one can prevent eyelid carcinoma is by protecting the eyes from the harmful UV rays, in every possible way. Often wear sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat. Apply sunscreen when stepping outside. Use broad-spectrum. Besides these, one should maintain good health, avoid alcohol and stress and get good and enough sleep.
MEDICATIONS AND TREATMENT FOR EYELID CARCINOMA
Ophthalmologists with a team of other doctors are the ones who treat eyelid carcinoma. They first examine the area around the eyelids, often follow the process of surgical biopsy. If cancer has deepened or spread to other regions, the doctor might suggest CT scans, MRI, or the sentinel lymph node biopsy.
At present, the treatment for eyelid carcinoma is the complete removal of it. Mohs surgeons, a special unit of dermatologists are the ones who perform the Mohs surgery or the frozen section control. After the removal of the tumor, surgeons often repair the damaged area from where the tumor is removed. The treatment is considered to be effective, with a very low chance of recurrence.
Other treatments for eyelid carcinoma include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and cryotherapy.
In rare cases, if cancer has deepened so that no simple treatment can be followed, the doctor can suggest the removal of the eye affected.
Vismodegib or Erivedge is the first approved drug that can be used for the treatment of skin cancer, particularly that of eye orbits and eyelids. It is an oral medication approved by U.S Food and Drug Administration and is considered to be effective. It is said to stop the growth of tumors. However, the medicine is only available at large academic medical centers and also available in the best online pharmacy stores.
Eyelid carcinoma is amongst the carcinoma with the least mortality rate. Yet one should visit the concerned doctor real soon if one experiences the above symptoms. Cancer can be treated easier and faster if treated earlier. It is better to follow the steps given to prevent the eyelid tumor.