What is Melanoma of the Eye?
Melanoma is a malignant tumour originating in the pigment-forming cells (melanocytes) of the eye. The most common site is the choroid layer, which is located between the sclera (white fibrous tissue of the outside of the eye) and retina (innermost layer). The choroid contains blood vessels as well as pigment. The disease incidence in Europe and the U.S. is approximately 7.5 cases annually per million population. The outlook for local cure depends strongly on the size of and growth rate of the tumour. The five-year survival expectation is approximately 70% for patients treated either with enucleation (surgical removal of the eye) or radiotherapy. The advantage with radiotherapy is that the affected eye can be saved in most cases and vision may be preserved.