Intraocular melanoma is a rare cancer that begins in the middle of three layers of the wall of the eye. The middle layer, where intraocular melanoma forms, is called the uvea or uveal tract. Intraocular melanoma is also known as uveal melanoma or ocular melanoma.
The middle layer of the eye, where this form of cancer develops, has three main parts:
- The iris, which is the colored area at the front of the eye.
- The ciliary body, which is a ring of tissue with muscle fibers that change the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens.
- And the choroid, which is a layer of blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to the eye.
Ocular melanoma is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 adults each year in the United States, according to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation.
Risk factors for intraocular melanoma include:
- Having a fair complexion
- Older age
- Being white.
Source: National Cancer Institute