How Do I Tell f I Have Eyelid Cancer? - SightMD Skip to main content

November 30, 2022

By: Leon Rafailov, MD

How Do I Tell f I Have Eyelid Cancer?

Extreme close up of blue and hazel eye

The term “eyelid cancer” sounds grim. And while it is something that should be taken seriously and attended to carefully, it is a relatively common condition and is not unique as a place for skin cancer to develop. If detected early on, most cases of eyelid cancer can be safely and effectively treated. If you are curious or concerned, read on to learn more about this condition.

What are the symptoms of eyelid cancer?

Where eyelid cancer is concerned, symptoms may include a difference in appearance of the skin, swelling, chronic infection, an ulceration that doesn’t heal, or a spreading, colored mass over the eyelid. In some cases, there may be no visible or noticeable symptoms.

In order to determine if you might have eyelid cancer, an ophthalmologist will conduct one or more tests, depending on the extent or particulars of the condition. The test (or tests) that will be run may include a biopsy, where a small amount of tissue is removed for examination. If the instance of eyelid cancer proves to be mild, the biopsy may be all that’s needed to remove the growth. If the state of the growth on the eyelid is more serious, however, your ophthalmologist will likely require a more intensive method of diagnosis, including:

  • Computer tomography (CT or CAT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Ultrasound

As to which test (or tests) your eye care team considers the most appropriate, factors that include your age, medical condition, type of cancer that’s suspected, prior test results, and other signs and symptoms will help determine the choice.

What should I do if diagnosed with Eyelid Skin Cancer

In the event you are confirmed to have eyelid cancer, be aware that the relieving of the symptoms mentioned is vital to care and treatment. An appointment should be made with a Mohs surgeon—which is a special dermatologist that specializes in skin cancer—to have the eyelid cancer removed. Depending on the severity of your condition, oculoplastic surgery may be necessary in order to reconstruct the eyelid.

If you have further questions about eyelid cancer, or would like to make an appointment for a consultation, the eye care team at your nearest SightMD office is ready to be of service.