Ocular / uveal melanoma

What is ocular melanoma?

Ocular melanoma is a rare and aggressive form of melanoma that occurs in the eye. Around 200 Australians are diagnosed with this eye cancer each year. Many ocular melanoma cases are initially detected during a routine eye test at an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 

Uveal melanoma is a form of ocular melanoma found in the middle layer of the eye called the uvea.

Ocular and uveal melanoma are clinically and biologically different to skin melanoma.

A person with ocular melanoma may be asymptomatic or the cancer may be picked up incidentally during a routine eye exam. Symptoms may include:

  • Visual changes – blurred vision, flashing lights, loss of peripheral vision, floaters and/or specks
  • Redness of the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Brown or dark patches on the white of the eye
  • Change in the colour of the iris
  • Changes in the shape or size of the pupil

What are the risk factors?

  • Older age – the median age of diagnosis is 55 years
  • Fair skin and a tendency to sunburn
  • Light eye colour, such as blue or green eyes
  • Family history of melanoma

Uveal melanoma clinical trials

Open for recruitment

More information about ocular / uveal melanoma

Visit the Australasian Ocular Melanoma Alliance (AOMA) website for more information. AOMA is a special interest group of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials.

Listen to this podcast by the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Advocacy Network (MSCAN):