Eye cancer

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Duke’s eye cancer specialists use the latest medical and surgical advances to detect and treat all types of eye cancer and non-cancerous tumors and growths in and around the eye. The eye cancer experts work with specialists throughout Duke to create a treatment plan that meets your individual needs, improves your health, restores your appearance, and minimizes vision loss.

Comprehensive eye cancer care

When eye cancer develops in and around the eye, it requires the knowledge and experience of specialists who can treat your cancer and save your life, save the involved eye and preserve your vision. There are many types of eye cancers, including melanoma of the eye, lymphoma of the eye, retinoblastomas (in children), and tumors that spread to the eye from other organs. There are also benign eye tumors that grow on the eyelid, within the wall of the eye (choroidal nevi) and abnormal overgrowths of blood vessels surrounding or inside the eye (hemangiomas). Each condition benefits from the delicate skill offered by Duke’s eye cancer team, which includes experts in retinal surgery, corneal surgery, oculoplastics-reconstructive surgery, medical, surgical and radiation oncology.

As a designated National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we offer a level of expertise found only in the top cancer centers across the country. We use the most advanced imaging, testing and biopsy techniques to determine whether you have eye cancer, its stage, type, and the best approach to treatment. We strive to catch your condition early, preserve your vision, maintain your eye’s function, and improve your quality of life.

Choose Duke for your eye cancer care because we offer:

  • Nationally ranked care. The Duke Eye Center is consistently ranked among the top ten eye centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Ophthalmology Times. Our cancer program is also nationally ranked, and part of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers dedicated to improving care for patients.
  • A team approach. Our eye cancer specialists work closely with ocular pathologists, oculoplastic surgeons, and medical and radiation cancer specialists. Offering this team of experts in one convenient location eases your anxiety and stress. We work together to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs.
  • Low vision rehabilitation. If you experience vision loss related to your eye cancer, we conduct a thorough evaluation of your needs, and give you the tools and knowledge you need to optimize your visual function and maximize your quality of life.
  • TLC for children with eye cancer. If your child has retinoblastoma (the most common primary pediatric eye cancer) or another type of eye cancer, it can be stressful and overwhelming for the entire family. Our social worker and child-life specialists will work closely with you and your child to support you through the hospital care experience, as well as offer guidance for giving care at home.
  • Research advances. Our eye cancer specialists are involved in research aimed at improving imaging techniques used to detect eye cancers earlier, as well as ways to prevent the complications associated with radiation therapy in ocular melanoma.
  • A caring environment. You will have access to the many support services offered by the Duke Cancer Center, including helping you understand treatment options, managing the side effects of your treatment, and helping you and your family cope with the emotional effects of your diagnosis and treatment. Our clinical social worker is available to help you cope with the emotional and psychological stress of vision loss, as well as other medical or environmental concerns.


Your doctor will develop a treatment plan for your eye cancer based on the type of cancer, the size of the tumor and the stage of your condition. Our goal is to detect your cancer early to achieve the best results possible. We offer the latest therapies.


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