Causes and prevention of eye cancer

The cause of eye cancer is unknown. But there are certain things that can increase your chance of getting cancer. These are called risk factors and include:

  • 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 or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

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Date Last Reviewed: 
Tuesday, December 19, 2017