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What is a choroidal melanoma?
The retina at the back of the eye is crucial to allowing us to see clearly. The choroid is a layer underneath the retina and has a rich blood supply. A choroidal melanoma, sometimes called a uveal melanoma, is a tumour or cancer of the choroid layer in the eye.

How is a choroidal melanoma detected?
Most choroidal melanomas are picked up in a routine eye examination. Often, there are no symptoms at the time when it is detected. As the tumour grows, it may start disturbing the vision and become more noticeable. A suspected choroidal melanoma will be referred immediately to an eye cancer specialist, for further assessments.

What is a choroidal naevus?
Just like a person can have a mole on the skin, a choroidal naevus (plural: naevi) is a mole at the back of the eye. It’s appearance can sometimes be similar to a choroidal melanoma. For this reason, a choroidal naevus may well be investigated in the same way that a choroidal melanoma is investigated. 

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What is the treatment for a choroidal naevus?
A choroidal naevus does not require any treatment. It only requires regular monitoring because, on rare occasions, a choroidal naevus can turn into a choroidal melanoma, at which point treatment would be required. 

What is the treatment for a choroidal melanoma?
Radiation therapy is usually first choice of treatment in an attempt to save the rest of the affected eye. Occasionally, the affected eye may have to be removed completely (enucleated). Additional assessments will be carried out to check for any spreading of the tumour.

Last words
A lot of choroidal melanomas have no symptoms at the time when they are detected. This highlights the importance of regular eye examinations. 

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Other topics of interest: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Top Ten Tips

 

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