What Are Ophthalmic Tumors?

Ophthalmic tumors (eye tumors) can be benign (noncancerous) or cancerous growths that develop in, on or around your eyes.

Uveal melanoma and lymphoma are the most common adult eye cancers, while retinoblastoma (cancer of the retina) is the most common eye cancer found in children. There are 500 to 600 new cases of retinoblastoma in children each year, and uveal melanoma is diagnosed in just 1,500 to 2,000 adults every year.

Other ophthalmic tumors include:

  • Eyelid tumors: Benign and malignant tumors on the edge of or in the eyelid, including skin cancers.
  • Hemangiomas: These are caused by an overgrowth of tangled blood vessels on your eyelid or inside your eye.
  • Conjunctival tumors: Benign and malignant tumors develop on the outer surface of your eyeball.
  • Iris tumors: These tumors grow on the colored part of your eye, often the iris melanoma.
  • Retinal hemangioblastomas: Von Hippel Lindau disease-related tumors include hemangioblastomas, which are blood vessel tumors of the brain, spinal cord and retina.
  • Other retinal tumors: Vasoproliferative tumors, nerve fiber tumors and retinoblastomas.
  • Choroid tumors: Benign and malignant tumors, including choroidal melanoma.
  • Lymphoma: Often non-Hodgkin lymphoma that can develop around or inside your eye.
  • Lacrimal gland tumors: Benign and malignant tumors on the glands that create tears.
  • Dermoid cysts: Fluid- and tissue-filled sacs.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma: Cancerous tumor in your eye’s muscle or connective tissue.
  • Orbital tumors: Tumors that start in the orbit or metastasize (spread) to the orbit.