What increases my risk of eye cancer?

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Eye colour: If you have blue, green or grey eyes, you are more likely to develop melanoma of the eye than if you have brown eyes.

Skin colour: If you are fair skinned, you are more likely to get eye cancer than if you have dark skin.

Moles: If you have moles, you have a higher risk of skin and eye melanoma.

Sunlight: If you expose yourself to too much sun, it increases your risk of skin melanoma but also eye melanoma and squamous cell cancer of the eye.

UV radiation: If you work as a welder, you may be at increased risk of melanoma of the eye. If you use sunbeds, your risk is also increased.

Weakened immune system: If you take medication to avoid organ rejection after a transplant, you might be at increased risk of lymphoma of the eye or squamous cell cancer of the eye. Your risk is also increased if you have certain viruses like AIDS or human papilloma virus (HPV) or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer. Sometimes people with no risk factors get the disease. If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call our Support Line on 1800 200 700 or visit a Daffodil Centre.

Reducing your risk of eye cancer

The most important things you can do to reduce your risk of eye cancer are to:

  • Protect your eyes from UV radiation by using proper eye protection
  • Go to an optician regularly

For more information

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1800 200 700

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