Skin cancer in your eye is possible, and isn’t always from a sunburn

symptoms of melanomaOf all the places you might think you could get skin cancer, your eyes are probably low on the list. However, after reading this story, you may want to take a closer look at yours.

Unless you need to make yearly optometrist appointments because you have corrective lenses, it’s not a routine doctor’s visit for many adults. In fact, according to a survey by Vision Express, half of adults in the United Kingdom make an eye doctor appointment ever five years — which is more than long enough for a major issue to arise.

That’s exactly what happened to Kelly Luff, a 35-year-old mother of four living in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. In fact, when she finally made it to the optometrist, she wasn’t even going for herself, but rather taking her kids for their checkups. Thankfully, she decided to squeeze in her own checkup that day since she was there already, and it had been almost seven years since she’d had an exam. She never expected the doctor to find what he did.

More: What you should know about moles and Symptoms of Melanoma

She told the Daily Mail, “I’ve always had a tiny visible freckle on the iris in my left eye, and although it didn’t look any different to me, when the optometrist looked at it with a magnifying glass and a light, he said there was something there – a tumour.” Just like how freckles on your skin can become cancerous, so too can ones on your eye, no matter how insignificant they may seem to you.

Her optometrist immediately referred her to the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where they confirmed she had a malignant melanoma on her iris. Luff and her family were shocked at the news, especially because she had had that freckle in her eye all her life. However, it’s important to note that a benign freckle can turn cancerous, even in the eye. It has to do with the fact that both our skin and eyes are made up of melanocytes, which are cells that affect pigment and coloring.

More: 10 Most common cancers in the U.S.

Melanoma in the eye is not necessarily associated with sitting out in the sun without proper protection, although it may be caused by exposure to UV light from the sun.People with fair skin and light-colored eyes are thought to be more at risk, because the lighter pigment can let more UV rays into the eye.

Although the risk of eye melanoma is higher if you have a freckle or mole on your eye, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to make an emergency eye doctor appointment. However, just like moles and freckles on your body, you should get it checked regularly by a specialist. While melanoma in the eye can cause flickering light, blurred vision or a shadow in your vision, a third of people affected won’t have symptoms. Luff was one of the third.

More: Girl goes blind after bacteria ate her corneas

Like any cancer, the key to successful treatment is early diagnosis. Dr. Victoria Cohen, an oncologist and head of the eye cancer service at Moorfields, says success rate of tumor eradication in the eye is over 90 percent if caught before it metastasizes.

In Luff’s case, the tumor was small enough that she didn’t need it to be removed, but rather shrunk by targeted radiotherapy called plaque brachytherapy. What they do is put a small plate with radioactive powder on one side directly on the affected eye, much like a contact lens. The plate is sewn to your eye so it can’t move around, and delivers concentrated radiation to the tumor for around four days, during which time you need to be monitored in the hospital.

Thankfully, Luff’s tumor shrunk significantly to the point where she’s considered in remission, but it’s still present in her eye. According to Dr. Cohen, this is common, but it means the tumor must be monitored extensively for the first two years to make sure it doesn’t grow back. She also has some side effects from the treatment like narrowed vision, dryness and seeing brighter colors. These symptoms could get worse over time, or she might lose her vision completely in that eye. However, Luff believes it’s a small price to pay for being cancer free.

Now, she hopes to inspire others to make an appointment at the optometrist. She told the Daily Mail, “I think people tend to only go to the optician if there’s a problem. But I had no symptoms at all. Who knows how long the tumour had been sitting there?”

Renewed Hope: The 2015 Red Sox Roster

0520918001414766210_filepickerYesterday, as the San Francisco Giants celebrated a hard fought victory over the Kansas City Royals, the other 31 teams watched with one thought in mind: How can that be us next year? As soon as the ball landed in Pablo Sandoval’s’ glove, a period of planning and renewed hope known as “the offseason” was nigh. Once again, every team is on the same pedestal, every team has the opportunity to improve themselves and make themselves into a contender, every team…. has hope. Continue reading


mlb_game2_02Hunter Pence seems like a dynomite guy. So I don’t think this was the sexist jock putting the little lady in her place. This was just a guy going, “What?” When Erin Andrews intimated that the Hunter Pence gave the pregame speech and that the theme was “We have nothing to fear”, she clearly misspoke. In a manner befitting of a gentleman, the Giant outfielder corrected her. He then apologized for correcting her. Why would the two time champions be afraid of a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 1985? Both sexes hate being criticized. Continue reading

You’re Not Playing A Game, If You’re Not Having Fun

0125232001414887969_filepickerI remember back in 2010 when the Texas Rangers made it to the World Series for the 1st time in franchise history. Led by Ron Washington and company, the Rangers turned things around and were playing good baseball. Many things went right for the Rangers as they hit homers led by Hamilton and Cruz, pitching performances by Cliff Lee and Colby Lewis were impressive, but it was the clubhouse chemistry that overshadowed it all. Remember the Claw and Antlers the Rangers flashed for big hits and speed on the bases? That team had fun and enjoyed playing the game with each other. Continue reading


Chicago Cubs v San Francisco GiantsIt was simply one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history. The accolades will keep pouring in until he throws another pitch. MadisonBumgarner baffled the Royals In game two,four, and five innings of game seven. He delivered the ball with a crossfire motion that looked like he was literally whipping the ball to home plate. It was Bumgarner who would foil any hopes of the Royals bringing a title back to Kansas City. The numbers were just as impressive 2-0, 1 save, 0.43 ERA. Continue reading

Rumor: Cubs Targeting Sandoval For Off-Season

0785398001414115583_filepickerIn today’s edition of “Wild, Crazy Trade Rumors”, another player has been linked to the Chicago Cubs. Reports out of Chicago indicate that the Chicago Cubs may have their eye on another big name position player to potentially sign this off-season.

Bruce Levine of CBS Sports Chicago reports that the Chicago Cubs (and the White Sox for that matter), are eyeing San Francisco Giant’s 3rd basement Pablo Sandoval as a potential off-season addition. Continue reading

The Passing of Oscar Taveras

0746867001414370666_filepickerSadly, St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras died from a car crash in the Dominican Republic, along with his girlfriend. Taveras’ agent confirmed the reports. Taveras, an outfielder, was one of the, if not the best, prospects in baseball. This season, Taveras was playing in AAA with the Memphis Redbirds. He hit 0.318 with eight home runs and 49 RBI in 62 games. Taveras was called up to the majors on June 1st. In his second career at bat, Taveras recorded his first major league hit, a home run. Continue reading

Cardinals Off-Season Back To ‘Business’

0552494001414934046_filepicker (1)For many, part of the healing with such a tragedy, is to get back to work and move forward. As much as Cardinals GM Joe Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny still mourn this great loss, they realize a new season awaits them. They will be addressing the bullpen; and, will give thought to their position players.

As has been in the news, the Cardinals exercised to option for pitcher John Lackey’s for 2015 which pertained to an unusual clause in his contract with the Boston Red Sox. If he missed a season due to injury, he would be compensated. Thus, the Cardinals secured the $500,000 option, to include a cost-of-living increase, and to keep Lackey out of free agency. The 36 year old is secured for the 2015 season and remain in the rotation. Continue reading

9 Changes MLB Commissioner-Elect Rob Manfred Must Institute to Save Baseball

MLB: Owners MeetingI am 24 years old, analyze business financial statements for a living, and, most importantly, am a dedicated MLB fan and member of the younger generation that represents the future of your business.

During his tenure as Commissioner, Mr. Selig implemented dramatic changes that grew revenue from approximately $1 billion to over $8 billion. You have the opportunity and capability to exceed that growth; however, this is a pivotal time in MLB history when the median age of fans and viewers is getting older, and younger viewers are losing patience and interest in the slow games and the drawn-out season. Continue reading