Ocular Melanoma Patient Guide

OCULAR ONCOLOGIST An eye cancer physician who provides comprehensive care for patients with eye tumors. Ocular oncologists are trained in ophthalmology and have completed specialized training in eye cancers. Ocular oncologists diagnose, treat and research a variety of malignancies that include the eye, eyelid and surrounding tissue. OPHTHALMOLOGIST A medical or osteopathic doctor who specializes in eye and vision care. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats eye diseases and is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. Many ophthalmologists are also involved in scientific research in eye diseases and disorders. OPTOMETRIST A health professional who provides primary vision care, sight testing and management of vision changes. An optometrist can perform eye exams, vision tests and detect certain eye abnormalities. An optometrist does not perform surgery. PATHOLOGIST A specialist in pathology who interprets and diagnoses the changes caused by disease in tissues and body fluids.

PET SCAN Imaging test that looks for metabolically active areas in the body. PET scans are not as detailed as CT or MRI scans but can provide helpful information about the whole body. RECURRENCE The return of the melanoma. SURGICAL ONCOLOGIST A doctor who performs biopsies and other surgical procedures in cancer patients. SYSTEMIC TREATMENT Treatments that travel through the bloodstream, affecting cells throughout the body. Examples include immunotherapy and A procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to look at tissues and organs inside the body. May also be used to evaluate a tumor. X-RAY Imaging test most often used to determine if melanoma has spread to the lungs. chemotherapy. ULTRASOUND


Common Terms

ADJUVANT THERAPY Used after the primary treatment, such as surgery, to decrease the chance of the ocular melanoma returning or spreading. BIOPSY The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope. BONE SCAN Imaging test that uses radioactive material to check for bone involvement. CT SCAN Rather than just one picture like an x-ray, CT scanners can help detect melanoma in soft tissues, like internal organs and the liver, by taking many pictures that provide a detailed image

MALIGNANT A term often used in melanoma, meaning invasive, cancerous or capable of metastasis. MEDICAL ONCOLOGIST A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. A medical oncologist often is the main healthcare provider for someone who has cancer. He or she may also give supportive care and coordinate treatment given by other specialists. METASTATIC The spread of the melanoma from the original site to other places in the body. MRI Imaging test used primarily to determine if melanoma has spread to the brain, spinal cord or liver. Unlike x-rays and CT scans, MRIs use radio waves and magnets to create pictures of the body.


Online Patient Forum (MPIP)

The MRF’s online community for melanoma patients can be found at www.mpip.org.

The MRF’s nurse provides free, personalized answers to melanoma questions and can be emailed at askanurse@melanoma.org.

Ask a Nurse

Melanoma Treatment Center Finder Educational Resources and Recordings

An interactive map listing melanoma centers of excellence and treatment centers which have experience treating melanoma. Visit www.melanoma.org to learn more.

View webinars, slides and recordings from educational events at www.melanoma.org/educational-recordings.

of the body. EXTENSION

The MRF partners with a variety of organizations who offer patient and caregiver support. Email cureom@melanoma.org to learn more.

Support Groups

The melanoma has spread outside the eye by extending through the wall of the eye.

Social Media

Follow CURE OM on Facebook and the MRF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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