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Symptoms of eye cancer include:

  • bulging of one eye
  • complete or partial loss of sight
  • pain in or around the eye (rare with eye cancer)
  • a pale raised lump on the surface of the eye (the conjunctiva or cornea)
  • blurred vision
  • change in the appearance of the eye

Other symptoms

Eye cancer can also cause:

  • seeing spots or flashes of light or wiggly lines in front of your eyes
  • blinkered vision (loss of peripheral vision) – you can see what is straight ahead clearly, but not what is at the sides
  • a dark spot on the coloured part of the eye (the iris) that is getting bigger
  • eye irritation, red eye or chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis)

Pain is quite rare unless the cancer has spread to the outside of the eye or caused the pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) to become too high.

When to see your doctor

Remember that cancer of the eye is rare. Eye conditions that aren't eye cancer can cause many of these symptoms. It is important that you report any of them to your GP. The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.
Last reviewed: 
10 Jun 2015
  • Textbok of Uncommon Cancers (4th edition)
    D Raghavan and others
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

  • Intraepithelial and invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva: analysis of 60 cases.
    M Tunc and others
    British Journal of Ophthalmology. 1999 January, Volume 83, Issue 1, Pages 98-103.


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