a) What are orbital metastases?
Tumours starting elsewhere in the body can spread behind the eye in the orbit. This is rare, however, if a tumour is first found in the orbit then cancer elsewhere may have to be considered and looked for. Common places for cancer to grow first before spreading to the eye include the breasts, lungs, prostate, skin, bowel and kidneys.
b) What are the symptoms of orbital metastasis?
Orbital metastases may cause:
• Proptosis (eye sticking out- picture above)
• Double vision
• Decreased vision
In certain tumours, enophthalmos can occur; this is where the eye moves backwards into the orbit making the eye appear smaller. If cancer elsewhere is present then some of the following symptoms may be experienced:
• Shortness of breath
• Long standing cough
• Coughing up blood
• Breast lump
• Difficulty passing urine
• Blood in urine or stools
• Change in bowel habit
c) What tests will I get?
Scanning the eye and elsewhere in the body depending on symptoms experienced. Scans may include:
• CT scan
• MRI scan
• PET CT scan
• Chest X-ray
• Blood tests
If we are unsure of the diagnosis, an orbital biopsy may be carried out. This, however, will be discussed further in clinic.
d) What is the treatment for orbital metastasis?
Treatments may include:
The main goal is to preserve vision and keep the eye comfortable. Our medical oncologist will help us choose the best treatment for you.