Signs and Symptoms of Eye Cancer

Many people with eye melanoma don’t have symptoms unless the cancer grows in certain parts of the eye or becomes more advanced. Other, less serious conditions can also cause many of these symptoms. For example, floaters can be a normal part of the aging process. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Signs and symptoms of eye melanomas can include:

  • Problems with vision (blurry vision or sudden loss of vision)
  • Floaters (spots or squiggles drifting in the field of vision) or flashes of light
  • Visual field loss (losing part of your field of sight)
  • A growing dark spot on the colored part of the eye (iris)
  • Change in the size or shape of the pupil (the dark spot in the center of the eye)
  • Change in position of the eyeball within its socket
  • Bulging of the eye
  • Change in the way the eye moves within the socket

Pain is rare unless the tumor has grown extensively outside the eye.

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.

Harbour JW, Shih HA. Initial management of uveal and conjunctival melanomas. UpToDate website. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/initial-management-of-uveal-and-conjunctival-melanomas. Updated Aug. 3, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Intraocular (Uveal) Melanoma Treatment. 2018. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/eye/hp/intraocular-melanoma-treatment-pdq#link/_101_toc. Accessed August 24, 2018.

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

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