Treatment of eye cancer – Eyelid Cancer: Diagnosis & Risk factors

Treatment of eye cancer and determining if it has spread to other parts of the body is known as metastasis. Some of the tests are advanced enough to determine the most effective treatment measures whereas for various cancer types, biopsy is the only way for definitive diagnosis.


In case biopsy isn’t possible, imaging tests and others are likely to be performed. For eyelid cancer, following tests may be recommended before deciding if it requires cosmetic eye surgery in Dubai;

  • Biopsy

Since basal and squamous cell cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body, extent of cancer is determined and mostly possible only through biopsy. A tissue fragment is removed which is examined under a microscope for definitive diagnosis of cancer. With this, the type of biopsy depends on location of the cancer. If presence of the cancer is found on the tissue edges, additional treatment such as radiation therapy (chemotherapy), surgery or cryo-therapy is necessary.

  • Computed Tomography (CAT/CT) Scan

A 3D image of inside of the body is created during the CT scan which is performed an X-Ray machine. These images are then combined for cross-sectional and detailed view that shows possible abnormalities or tumours and its size. A special dye known as contrast medium is applied sometimes before the scan for better and more visible details on the image. It is either injected or given as a pill to swallow to a patient.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

During an MRI, magnetic fields produce detailed images of the body whereas the process can also determine size of the tumour. Even with MRI, a special dye known as contrast medium may be given to the patient before the procedure.

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

A PET scan gives images of organs and tissues inside the body. Before the procedure, a small amount of radioactive sugar-like substance is vaccinated in the patient, which reacts to the most active cells. This is because cancer takes in the active energy; it absorbs more of the radioactive substance.

Risk factors

Following risk factors may raise a risk of eyelid cancer in an individual;


  • Exposure to UV rays

Sunlight is a composition of Ultraviolet A and B that is UVA and UVB respectively. While UVA radiation has the tendency to deeply penetrate the skin causing wrinkles and photo-ageing, UVB radiation stimulates sunburn and development of melanoma, carcinoma of the basal and squamous cells.

  • Fair skin

Less amount of melanin (pigment) in the skin offers less protection against the UV radiation. This is the reason light-haired and light-eyed people having the skin that doesn’t tan but produces freckles or burns are highly susceptible to eyelid cancer.

  • History of fragile skin or sunburns

Skin that has been sunburned or injured from some illness is at high risk for eyelid cancer. Squamous and basal cell cancer occurs most with repeated and long-term exposure to the sun.


In the third and final part of the series, we will discuss the treatment options for eyelid cancer and whether a patient needs cosmetic eye surgery in Dubai.

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