Topic outline

  • Ocular Oncology


    The eye contains both actively replicating, quiescent, and permanent cell types. The replicating cells pose the same risk of developing cancers seen throughout the rest of the body.

    While we've touched on some specific examples of ocular cancer in earlier lectures, here we take an organized approach to move systematically through four different structures in the eye which may develop cancerous lesions.

    First, we begin with a lecture touching on cancers of the orbit. These cancers primarily pose a risk to vision by impinging on the eye. Cancers in this region may develop from bone or connective tissues.

    Next, we exam conjunctival cancer. The conjunctiva is a protective layer and thus it contains a large number of actively replicating cells. This puts it at risk for a number of cancers similar to those found on skin and other high turn over protective tissues.

    The retina itself can also develop cancer. These cancers are organized by the retinal layer affected so we'll make sure to discuss several different examples. Retinal cancers pose an immediate threat to vision and may require rapid intervention to prevent the loss of sight or metastasis.

    Finally, we discuss cancers of the Uvea. This structure is responsible for regulating light entry to the eye, producing aqueous humour and providing structural and metabolic support. These seemingly unrelated tasks rely on a number of different cell types and so there are a few distinct cancers which can develop here.

    Cancer is always a scary diagnosis. It's important that we take the time to learn the details so that we can distinguish the malignant from the benign and better help our patients. Let's do that now.

    Issue Date: 08/01/2020