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Annual Tests Important for Early Eye Cancer Detection: Expert

Annual Tests Important for Early Eye Cancer Detection: Expert

“Annual eye tests for cancer are important, especially for people with genetic predispositions and those who are subjected to prolonged UV exposure, for the early detection and treatment of cancers of the eyes. 
" Eye tests can also detect cancer in blood and other body parts including skin, lungs, and breast, as these types of cancer can quickly spread to the eyes, because parts of the eyes are highly vascular, having a large number of blood vessels,” said Dr Dhivya Ashok Kumar, Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital, Chennai.

World Cancer Day

In a press release, issued to mark the World Cancer Day, which falls on 4th February every year, Dr Dhivya said that there is a lack of awareness among the public about the prevalence of eye cancers because their prevalence rate is comparatively low. Two of the most common eye cancers are retinoblastoma, the ones that affect the retina (the layer in the back of the eyes), and uveal melanoma, the cancer of uveal structure, which is the middle layer of the eyes and the source of blood flow to the ocular tissues. Retinoblastoma usually comes to children. 
The average age at diagnosis is 18 months. In India, one in 15,000-18,000 live births develop this form of cancer. 

Uveal melanoma is common among the adults - 45-55 is the average age group in which this cancer is diagnosed. It is more common in the west, not in Asia. Only one in a million Indians get it.“Compared to the west, the incidence rate of cancer is still low in India. It is less than 100 per 100,000 in India. However, the main challenge is the late-stage detection of cancers. Dr Dhivya said that since eye tests can also reveal cancer spread from organs, routine eye checkups are important in high risk people".