Can Eye Cancer Be Prevented?

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

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.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Grisanti S, Tura A. Uveal Melanoma. In Scott JF, Gerstenblith MR, eds. Noncutaneous Melanoma [Internet]. Brisbane (AU): Codon Publications; 2018 Mar. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK506988/ doi: 10.15586/codon.noncutaneousmelanoma.2018. 

Jovanovic P, Mihajlovic M, Djordjevic-Jocic J, Vlajkovic S, Cekic S, Stefanovic V. Ocular melanoma: an overview of the current status. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology. 2013;6(7):1230-1244.

Karcioglu ZA, Haik BG. Chapter 67: Eye, orbit, and adnexal structures. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Dorshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Elsevier: 2014. 

Last Medical Review: November 30, 2018 Last Revised: November 30, 2018

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