Ocular Melanoma

Last Modified: November 23, 2005


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Can you please give me some information on melanoma of the eye?


Suzanne M. McGettigan, MSN, CRNP, AOCN, Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Oncology Advanced Practice Nurse, responds:

Ocular (eye) melanoma is not staged in the same manner as cutaneous melanoma (melanoma of the skin). It tends to be a bit more aggressive, with a higher likelihood of metastases (spread) into the brain. Unlike cutaneous melanoma , there is little benefit to sentinel node biopsy in ocular melanoma, since the drainage pattern is a bit harder to figure out. The staging workup should be the same as cutaneous melanoma, with CT scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis and an MRI of the brain. The National Cancer Institute has a nice article on the various types of melanoma found in the eye .


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