How is Skin Cancer Treated On The Eye? - SightMD Skip to main content

June 20, 2023

By: Samuel Baharestani, MD

How is Skin Cancer Treated On The Eye?

close up of a brown eye

Yes, we can imagine how you might be cringing as you read the title to this “Everyday InSight” blog. Skin cancer unfortunately happens, and may develop anywhere on a person’s body—including the eyelids.

Treatment Options for Eyelid Cancer

If a person is diagnosed with having cancer on his or her eyelid, what is known as a “multidisciplinary team” of doctors – consisting of a dermatologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist, and ophthalmologist – will join forces to devise a treatment plan. These aforementioned specialists  not only have the expertise for treatment but can determine how best to keep a patient’s eye functioning before, during, and after any prescribed procedure. Where procedures are concerned, surgery is usually the most frequently chosen treatment. Surgical options for cancer of the eyelid include:

  • Biopsy – Either part of the growth (known as “incisional”) or all of it (“excisional”) is surgically removed to determine if it is cancerous.
  • Mohs’ surgery – Removal of the visible tumor and smaller fragments along the edge of where it existed.
  • Cryosurgery – Liquid nitrogen is applied in the freezing and killing of cancer cells.
  • Reconstructive surgery – This procedure is performed in very advanced cases in order to improve how the eye functions as well as improve the appearance of the eyelid.

For particularly serious diagnoses of eyelid cancer, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be required treatment.

A plan of treatment for eyelid cancer should be put into effect immediately. If ignored or put off for an extended period of time, the patient may wind up having to have the stricken eye permanently removed.

Early Diagnosis of Eyelid Skin Cancer

Yes, all of this is very serious stuff to read and absorb. It should be noted, however, that if detected early enough, certain types of skin cancer on the eyelid – such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell – are highly treatable. Should you have any concerns about the possibility of developing eyelid skin cancer, call 855.295.4144 and speak to one of the eye care professionals at SightMD. We are here to listen and answer your questions. Most importantly, we will be able to determine the health of your eyes (and eyelids) and also guide you in determining the best possible treatment plan. Yes, eyelid cancer is serious—but treatable. SightMD is here to help.