Eye cancer risk factors

Prevention

Preventable cases of eye cancer, UK

Occupational exposures

Eye cancer  cases linked to occupational exposures, UK

2% (3% in males and less than 1% in females) of eye cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.[1]

Eye cancer risk is associated with a number of risk factors.[2,3]

Eye Cancer Risk Factors

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence
  • Human immunodeficiency virus type 1
  • Ultraviolet-emitting
  • Welding
 
'Limited' or 'Probable' evidence
  • Solar radiation
 

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classification does not include eye cancer because it is not generally recognised to have a relationship to food, nutrition, and physical activity.

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Solar radiation is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a probable cause of eye melanoma, based on limited evidence.[1]

Uveal melanoma risk is 64% higher in those who get sunburned easily, compared with those who tan well, a meta-analysis showed.[2]

Uveal melanoma risk is not associated with occupational sunlight exposure or outdoor leisure, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

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Use of ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices (e.g. sunbeds) is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a cause of eye melanoma.[1]

Uveal melanoma risk may be 2-3 times as high in occasional or frequent users of sunlamps (includes sunbeds and tanning booths), compared with never users, a case-control study showed.[2] However, evidence is mixed.[2-5]

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 118. Accessed June 2017.
  2. Seddon JM, Gragoudas ES, Glynn RJ, et al. Host factors, UV radiation, and risk of uveal melanoma. A case-control study. Arch Ophthalmol. 1990 Sep;108(9):1274-80.
  3. Tucker MA, Shields JA, Hartge P, et al. Sunlight exposure as risk factor for intraocular malignant melanoma. N Engl J Med. 1985 Sep 26;313(13):789-92.
  4. Vajdic CM, Kricker A, Giblin M, et al. Artificial ultraviolet radiation and ocular melanoma in Australia. Int J Cancer. 2004 Dec 10;112(5):896-900.
  5. Schmidt-Pokrzywniak A, Jöckel KH, Bornfeld N, et al. Positive interaction between light iris color and ultraviolet radiation in relation to the risk of uveal melanoma: a case-control study. Ophthalmology. 2009 Feb;116(2):340-8.
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Uveal melanoma risk is 80% higher in those with fair skin, compared with those with dark skin, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

Uveal melanoma risk is 75% higher in those with blue or grey eyes, compared with those with brown eyes, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

Uveal melanoma risk is 27% higher in people with freckles, a meta-analysis showed.[2]

Uveal melanoma risk is around 3-4 times higher in people with any unusually shaped or large moles on their skin (atypical naevi) versus people without any such moles, a meta-analysis showed.[2]

Uveal melanoma risk is 74% higher in people with common moles on their skin, a meta-analysis showed.[2]

Uveal melanoma risk is 53% higher in people with moles on the iris (iris naevi), a meta-analysis showed.[2]

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Eye cancer risk is 30-50% higher in people with a first-degree relative with melanoma, compared with the general population, a pooled analysis showed.[1] Eye cancer risk is around 4-8 times higher in people with two or more first-degree relatives with melanoma, compared with the general population.[1]

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Uveal melanoma risk is higher in people with a germline BAP1 mutation compared with those without the mutation, a meta-analysis has shown.[1] Up to 18% of BAP1 mutation carriers will develop uveal melanoma.[1]

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Retinoblastoma is caused by a mutation in the RB1 gene.[1] It is a rare type of eye cancer that mainly affects children. Around 40% of retinoblastoma cases are caused by an inherited mutation in the RB1 gene.[2] Individuals with hereditary retinoblastoma are at a significantly increased risk of developing other cancers later in life, whereas those with nonhereditary retinoblastoma are not, a cohort study showed.[3]

Retinoblastoma risk is 54 times higher in children with a family history of the disease, compared with the general population, a cohort study showed.[4]

Retinoblastoma risk in children is not associated with increasing age at birth of either parent, a cohort and case-control study have shown.[4,5]

Retinoblastoma risk in children is 62% higher in children conceived through medically assisted reproduction, a meta-analysis showed.[6]

Retinoblastoma risk in children is around 2-3 times higher in children whose mother smoked cigarettes during pregnancy, compared with those whose mothers were never smokers, case-control studies have shown.[7,8] Retinoblastoma risk in children is not associated with paternal smoking before or during pregnancy.[8]

Retinoblastoma risk in children is around 4.5 times higher in children whose mother was underweight at the start of pregnancy, compared with those of a normal weight, a case-control study showed.[9] Retinoblastoma risk in children is not associated with maternal weight gain during pregnancy, a case-control study showed.[10]

References

  1. Lohmann DR, Gallie BL. Retinoblastoma: revisiting the model prototype of inherited cancer. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2004 Aug 15;129C(1):23-8.
  2. Ghassemi F, Khodabande A. Risk definition and management strategies in retinoblastoma: current perspectives. Clin Ophthalmol. 2015 Jun 8;9:985-94.
  3. Marees T, Moll AC, Imhof SM, et al. Risk of second malignancies in survivors of retinoblastoma: more than 40 years of follow-up. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008 Dec 17;100(24):1771-9.
  4. Yip BH, Pawitan Y, Czene K. Parental age and risk of childhood cancers: a population-based cohort study from Sweden. Int J Epidemiol. 2006 Dec;35(6):1495-503. Epub 2006 Sep 28.
  5. Johnson KJ, Carozza SE, Chow EJ, et al. Parental age and risk of childhood cancer: a pooled analysis. Epidemiology. 2009 Jul;20(4):475-83.
  6. Hargreave M, Jensen A, Toender A, et al. Fertility treatment and childhood cancer risk: a systematic meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 2013 Jul;100(1):150-61.
  7. Stavrou EP, Baker DF, Bishop JF. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood cancer in New South Wales: a record linkage investigation. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Nov;20(9):1551-8.
  8. Azary S, Ganguly A, Bunin GR, et al. Sporadic Retinoblastoma and Parental Smoking and Alcohol Consumption before and after Conception: A Report from the Children's Oncology Group. PLoS One. 2016 Mar 18;11(3):e0151728.
  9. Heck JE, Omidakhsh N, Azary S, et al. A case-control study of sporadic retinoblastoma in relation to maternal health conditions and reproductive factors: a report from the Children's Oncology group. BMC Cancer. 2015 Oct 19;15:735.
  10. Contreras ZA, Ritz B, Virk J, et al. Maternal pre-pregnancy and gestational diabetes, obesity, gestational weight gain, and risk of cancer in young children: a population-based study in California. Cancer Causes Control. 2016 Oct;27(10):1273-85. 
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a cause of eye cancer.[1]

Ocular surface squamous neoplasia (which includes cancer and pre-cancer) risk is around 8 times as high in people with HIV/AIDS, compared with those without, a meta-analysis showed.[2]

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Ocular surface squamous neoplasia (which includes cancer and pre-cancer) risk is around 4 times higher in people infected with cutaneous subtypes of HPV, compared with those who are not infected, a meta-analysis showed.[1]

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Ultraviolet (UV) emissions from welding is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a cause of eye melanoma.[1]  An estimated 3% of eye cancers in males and less than 1% in females in the UK are linked to UV radiation from welding.[2]

Uveal melanoma risk is doubled in those who have ever welded, compared with those who have never welded, a meta-analysis showed.[3] This association is likely to be due to exposure to intermittent UV radiation.[3]

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