Eye Cancer (Melanoma and Lymphoma)

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Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention TOPICS

Can eye cancer be prevented?

We do not yet know what causes most cancers of the eye, so it is not yet possible to prevent them.

Eye melanoma

We know there is a link between sunlight and melanomas of the skin, and there are things you can do that might reduce your risk of these cancers, including limiting your exposure to intense sunlight, covering up with protective hats and clothing, and using sunscreen.

The American Cancer Society also recommends wearing UV-protected sunglasses when outside in strong sunlight. Wrap-around sunglasses with 99% to 100% UVA and UVB absorption provide the best protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin. This might help reduce the risk of developing cancers of the skin around the eyes. The link between sunlight and eye melanomas is not proven, but some doctors think that sunglasses might also reduce eye melanoma risk.

Eye lymphoma

Many people with eye lymphoma have no clear risk factors for this disease. For now, the best way to limit the risk of eye lymphoma is to try to avoid infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Last Medical Review: 12/09/2014
Last Revised: 02/05/2016