Ocular Melanoma: Are You Aware of This Eye Cancer?

December 11, 2014 11:21 PM

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You have cancer. Three words no one ever wants to hear, yet this was what I was being told on a Monday morning in early July. I had traveled with my mom to Philadelphia to see an ocular oncologist, one of the best in the country, to determine if the tumor in my eye was a mole or ocular melanoma. Three months before this day, I never even knew ocular melanoma existed. I was aware of skin cancer, but never knew that people could get cancer in their eyes. The fact is that not many people do. Ocular melanoma is a very rare cancer, with only about six in 1 million people diagnosed per year.

Everything started happening very fast in the exam room that day. It was a small room packed with myself, my mom, my ocular oncologist, a nurse, fellow and numerous medical students. I felt like I was on display with everyone watching me to see what my reaction was to the news that I had cancer. I w...

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