Of all the places on your body to worry about having cancer, your eyelid probably isn’t high on the list. Nonetheless, eyelid cancer is a very real condition, one that many Americans struggle with every year. If you or someone you love must unexpectedly stand up to eyelid cancer, here are the basics that you should know.
Susceptibility of the Eyelid Region
The eyelid is actually at very high risk of skin cancer, enough to account for nearly 10 percent of all skin cancer cases in the country. This high rate can be attributed to the very thin and delicate structure of the eyelids. It also doesn’t help that most people don’t think to apply sunscreen to their eyelids, especially the lower lids where the majority of eyelid skin cancer occurs.
Identifying Eyelid Skin Cancer
You can’t exactly look at your own eyelid, not easily anyway, but there are certain signs and signals that can help you determine if your eyelid is in trouble. It’s important to stay alert for these symptoms because skin cancer tumors can actually grow under the skin for years before becoming obvious. One sign of eyelid skin cancer is a lump or bump that frequently bleeds and won’t go away. Another sign is inflammation of the eyelids that won’t respond to standard medications. Finally, unexplained loss of eyelashes and pigmented lesions with irregular borders can also hint at eyelid skin cancer.
Since eyelid cancer exists on such a delicate part of the body, treatment will likely require the teamwork of a dermatologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist, and ophthalmologist. The best option for treatment might be surgery, which would remove the tumor along with a bit of healthy tissue in the process. An ophthalmologist would be the one completing this procedure. Radiation therapy is also an option, which would attack the cancer cells with high-energy x-rays.
It is critical to receive regular eye care from a specialist in order to catch this type of potential health threat early and give yourself a chance to fully live your life.