How Do You Know Something is Wrong?

Discover eye tumors as soon as possible — 5 things to look for.

Rachel D Adams

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any eye reflecting a circle of light
Photo by Arteum.ro on Unsplash

This article is going to be short and sweet. I want people to know how to tell if they might have a tumor in their eyes. I think it’s very important to be aware of the signs.

There are several serious cancers that affect the eyes and if you want to look them up, here is a list: retinoblastoma (a childhood cancer), lymphoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and eye melanoma.

I have eye melanoma or ocular melanoma. Mine is referred to as uveal melanoma because of its location. This cancer begins in the cells that make the dark-colored pigment, called melanin (hence melanoma), in the uvea or uveal tract of the eye. The uvea is the middle layer of the wall of the eye and includes the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid.

My tumor was on the back of the eye, meaning choroid. It was not visible, therefore I didn’t realize anything was wrong. If a tumor is viewable it’s considered ciliary.

Image made available by the Mayo Clinic for educational purposes.

That’s not to say if you find a tumor it will be malignant, it could simply be a benign tumor or even say — a freckle growing in the wrong place. This is actually possible. I never realized it was possible, but you learn something new every day, right?

malignant — for cancer, it means prone to spread

benign — for cancer, it means not prone to spread

It turns out that anywhere in the body you have melanin, this can happen. The good news is that most of the growths found on or around the eye are benign. They still should be treated to keep their vision proper, but most people do not end up winning the rare disease situation I have. So do not be afraid to read this list and keep it in mind if you ever have issues with your sight.

The description in my medical records that I am sharing — Rachel Adams

Rule #1

Do not ignore the need for seeing your optometrist yearly. Even if you have to look up…

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Rachel D Adams

(she/her/pan) I’m not a well-behaved woman. I am an ally, amateur photog, content creator, novelist, empty nester, traveler, wife, & friend.