Cancer and Metastasis Reviews

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 677–690 | Cite as

Cancers of the eye

  • Abhilasha Maheshwari
  • Paul T. FingerEmail author


Ocular cancers are unique among the diseases of the eye, threatening both vision and life. In most cases, the diagnosis can be made utilizing a careful clinical history and specialized ocular examination. Eye cancer diagnosis relies heavily on imaging techniques such as high-frequency ultrasound, fluorescein angiography, anterior and posterior segment optical coherence tomography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Once the diagnosis is established, treatment decisions depend on the tumor’s location, size, local extension, patterns of growth, and secondary complications. Treatment options include observation, local resection, chemotherapy (topical, intravenous, intra-arterial, or intravitreal), and radiation (ophthalmic plaque or external beam). Enucleation or exenteration is only employed if these eye- and vision-sparing treatments are not possible. The core of this comprehensive review is a consecutive series of the most common ocular tumor of each structure of the eye, anterior to posterior, including basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid, squamous conjunctival neoplasia, choroidal melanoma, retinoblastoma, ocular adnexal lymphoma, and metastatic orbital tumors.


Basal cell carcinoma Ocular surface squamous neoplasia Choroidal melanoma Retinoblastoma Ocular adnexal lymphoma Metastasis 



This study was supported by The Eye Cancer Foundation, Inc. Dr. Maheshwari received a fellowship grant from The Eye Cancer Foundation (

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New York Eye Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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