Got a symptom but not sure what's causing it? Use our award-winning Smart Symptom Checker to find out – it's free!

1 min read

Eye cancer

Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

In this article

The most common type of cancer to affect the eye is ocular melanoma, or melanoma of the eye.

Melanoma of the eye

Melanoma is cancer that develops from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Most melanomas begin to grow in the skin, but it is possible for melanomas to begin in other parts of the body such as the eye.

Symptoms include blurred vision, flashing lights, shadows and cataracts (misting of the lens in your eye).

The outlook for ocular melanoma depends on how advanced it is when you are diagnosed and which parts of the eye are involved. Of people diagnosed with early-stage melanoma, when the cancer is still small, about 84% will live for at least five years after diagnosis.


Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer that affects children younger than five. It is usually caught and treated early in the UK, which is why over 98% of children with retinoblastoma are successfully treated.

Content supplied byNHS
Was this article helpful?

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.