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

Information about ocular / uveal melanoma

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials with its special interest group, the Australasian Ocular Melanoma Alliance (AOMA), hold annual virtual summits featuring talks from all the disciplines working in ocular melanoma along with consumers. View the AOMA Virtual Summits.

Ocular melanoma resources

Visit the AOMA Summit webpage for ocular melanoma resources for patients and clinicians.

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