When New York patients have cancer that has not yet been diagnosed, it can spread to other parts of the body including in or near the eye. However, these malignant tumors may not be diagnosed unless they affect the vision, become visible to the patient or cause the eye to be pushed forward.
Malignant tumors that appear in or around the eye, called choroidal metastasis, are usually caused by metastasized breast cancer in women and lung cancer in men. However, cancer of the thyroid, kidney and gastrointestinal tract can also result in eye tumors. In some cases, even blood cell cancer can metastasize to the eye area. Choroidal metastasis does not have any symptoms, though if it appears on the eye or on the eyelid, patients may be able to see it. If it occurs in the eye itself, symptoms may include floating spots, flashing lights and a distortion of their vision.
There are several treatment options available, though radiation therapy is the most common one for choroidal metastasis. If the patient receives early treatment and the tumor has not destroyed the retina, the patient’s vision may be saved. If the metastasis reaches the iris, however, the patient could be at risk for developing glaucoma, potentially causing him or her to lose the eye.
An early breast or lung cancer diagnosis provides patients with the optimum chance for survival, especially if the cancer has not metastasized yet. However, a delayed diagnosis could cause a patient to develop a choroidal metastasis, potentially causing him or her to lose vision in that eye. A medical malpractice attorney may help a patient seek compensation if misread test results or the failure to order appropriate diagnostic tests led to harm in the form of a worsened condition.