Eyelid skin cancer most often occurs in the lower eyelid but may develop anywhere on the eyelid margins, corners of the eye, or eyebrow skin as painless elevations or nodules. Occasionally, the eyelashes are distorted or missing. There may be ulcerations of the involved area, along with bleeding, crusting, and/or distortion of the normal skin structure. These symptoms should be evaluated and may require a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of the cancer.
Excessive exposure to sunlight is the single most important factor associated with skin cancers on the face, eyelids, and arms. Fair-skinned people develop skin cancers far more frequently than dark-skinned people. Skin cancers may also be hereditary.
|Types of Skin Cancer|
|Basal Cell & Squamous Cell Carcinoma||The most common types of skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Both types occur locally and usually do not spread (metastasize) to distant parts of the body. With time, however, either type will invade adjacent structures if not completely removed.
Both basal and squamous cell carcinomas are relatively slow growing. When detected early and treated in a prompt and appropriate manner, the tumor has a better chance of being completely and successfully removed while also minimizing the amount of tissue affected by the carcinoma.
|Sebaceaous Gland Carcinoma & Malignant Melonoma||Sebaceaous gland carcinoma and malignant melonoma are more serious forms of skin cancer. They may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. These types of skin cancer require prompt, aggressive treatment because of the threat of early spread.|
There are two very important principles in the management of eyelid skin cancer: complete removal and eyelid reconstruction:
Complete removal of the tumor is critical to minimize the possibility of recurrence, which is even more difficult to manage. The surgeon may remove the tumor and have a pathologist check the tissue margins ("frozen section") to be sure the tumor is completely removed. In another method, a surgeon excises the tumor in layers ("Mohs technique") to ensure total removal.
Once the tumor has been completely removed, reconstructive surgery is usually necessary. Occasionally, the wound can heal on its own through a process called "granulation". More commonly, eyelid reconstruction surgery is performed to make a new eyelid or repair the defect.
Any form of therapy for eyelid skin cancer will leave a scar, but an effort is always made to minimize scarring and obtain optimal cosmetic results. After surgery, the healing process may take six months to one year. Once the wound has healed, follow-up with your physician is necessary to ensure that the skin cancer does not recur. Should a new cancer develop, it can then be detected early and treated promptly.
At Miami Eye Center, Dr. Joseph Selem will meet with you during your private consultation to assess your individual situation. Dr. Selem can help you decide if reconstruction after eyelid cancer removal in Miami is right for you. See the beauty in yourself and the world around you in crisp, clear detail today! Request an appointment online or call Dr. Joseph Selem and the staff at Miami Eye Center at 305-444-0221 to schedule your private consultation.