Ocular Oncology


What Is Ocular Oncology?

Ocular oncology is the branch of ophthalmology that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of tumors on the surface of the eye and inside of the eye. Healthcare professionals at the UW Medicine Eye Institute specialize in treating a variety of eye lesions and tumors in adults and children, including:

  • Conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)
  • Conjunctival squamous cell carcinoma
  • Conjunctival nevi (moles)
  • Primary acquired melanosis (PAM) of the conjunctiva
  • Conjunctival melanoma
  • Conjunctival lymphoma
  • Iris nevi and iris melanoma
  • Ciliary body lesions and melanoma
  • Choroidal nevi and their complications
  • Choroidal melanoma
  • Chroidal metastases
  • Choroidal hemangiomas
  • Retinal capillary hemangiomas
  • Retinal vasoproliferative tumors
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Lymphoma of the retina, vitrous and choroid

Eye Cancer Symptoms

Eye cancer can affect any structure in the eye and can be difficult to diagnose. Some tumors can be diagnosed during a clinical exam, while others require sophisticated imaging or even biopsies for proper diagnosis. Common symptoms of an eye tumor include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye soreness
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Seeing flashes of light, shadows or floaters
  • New pigmentation on the white of the eye
  • Changes in pupil size or shape

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are many options for treating eye cancer once it is detected. Depending on when and where an ocular tumor is found, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, laser therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy.

At the Eye Institute, we recognize that a diagnosis of cancer can be a life-changing experience and can affect patients both physically and emotionally. That’s why, once a patient is diagnosed with eye cancer, they become part of the treatment team. After thoroughly reviewing your case and your options, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for you as an individual.

In addition, treating an eye tumor often requires a large team from many medical specialties outside of ophthalmology. To this end, we have built strong collaborations within our world-class hospital including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional radiologists who are all specifically interested in treating eye tumors. We will stay in touch long after your treatment to help you maintain the best eye health possible.

Meet Your Doctor

Dr. Andrew W. Stacey is an ophthalmologist who specializes in ocular oncology. He sees adult and child patients with conjunctival tumors (papilloma, intraepithelial neoplasia, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, lymphoma), adult intraocular tumors (iris melanoma, ciliary body melanoma, choroidal melanoma, intraocular metastasis, intraocular lymphoma, retinal angiomas, choroidal hemangiomas, vasoproliferative tumors of the retina) and pediatric intraocular tumors and vascular abnormalities (retinoblastoma, medulloepithelioma, Coats' disease).

Read more about Dr. Stacey