Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Risk factors for primary melanoma of the eye include:
- Light eye color. People with blue eyes or green eyes have a greater risk of melanoma of the eye.
- Being white. White people have a greater risk of eye melanoma than do people of other races.
- Increasing age. The risk of eye melanoma increases with age.
- Certain inherited skin disorders. A condition called dysplastic nevus syndrome, which causes abnormal moles, may increase your risk of developing melanoma on your skin and in your eye. In addition, people with abnormal skin pigmentation involving the eyelids and adjacent tissues and increased pigmentation on their uvea — known as ocular melanocytosis — also have an increased risk of developing eye melanoma.
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. There's some evidence that exposure to UV light, such as light from the sun or from tanning beds, may increase the risk of eye melanoma.
- Yanoff M, et al. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/199400089-5/0/1869/0.html. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Intraocular (eye) melanoma treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/intraocularmelanoma/patient. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Albert DM, et al. Albert & Jakobiec's Principles and Practice of Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:4913.
- Leyvraz S, et al. Ocular melanoma: What's new? Current Opinion in Oncology. 2012;2:162.
- Indoor tanning. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/indoor_tanning.htm. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Surgical procedures. American Society of Ocularists. http://www.ocularist.org/resources_surgical_procedures.asp. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Shopping guide for sunglasses. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x6385.xml. Accessed June 5, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 8, 2012.