What is eye cancer?
Cancer of the eye happens when the cells in the eye change and affect how the eye works normally.
Eye cancer is a rare cancer - around 50 people are diagnosed with eye cancer in Ireland every year. They are also known as ocular cancers.
What is the eye?
The eye is the organ of sight. It sits in a little hollow area in your skull called the eye socket. The eyelids protect the front of your eyes and keep them moist and clean.
Your eye has three layers:
- Sclera. The outer later - the white of your eye along with the clear part at the front of your eye called the cornea. This layer protects your eye.
- Uvea. The middle layer. The front uvea includes the iris and ciliary body, while the back uvea is the choroid, which is rich in blood vessels and pigmented cells. The iris is the coloured part of your eye with the pupil in the centre, which changes size to let more or less light into your eye. The ciliary body is a muscle behind the iris that changes the size of your pupil and the shape of your lens to help your eye focus.
- Retina. The inner layer. This has nerve cells that are sensitive to light and sends messages to your brain along the optic nerve.
The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the surface of your inner eyelid and the white part of your eyeball.
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