Ocular (Uveal) Melanoma
What are the risk factors?
The cause of ocular melanoma is not known in most cases. However, there are several risk factors including:
- having pale or fair skin. People whose skin burns easily are most at risk.
- having a light eye colour. People with blue or green eyes have a greater risk than people with darker eyes.
- family history of melanoma. A very small number of people who have melanoma have inherited a faulty gene.
- having a growth on or in the eye. People with an “eye freckle” may be at risk.
- age. The risk increases with age.
- certain skin conditions and pigmentation. Some people have a skin disorder (dysplastic naevus syndrome) which causes moles to grow abnormally, and this can increase your risk.
This information is reviewed by
This information was last reviewed February 2021 by the following expert content reviewers: A/Prof William Glasson, Ophthalmologist, Queensland Ocular Oncology Service, Queensland; Dr Lindsay McGrath, Ophthalmic Surgeon, Queensland Ocular Oncology Service, Queensland; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Jane Palmer, Senior Oncology Nurse and Researcher, Oncogenomics Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Queensland Ocular Oncology Service, Queensland; Katrina Potter, Consumer; Susan Vine, OcuMel Australia; Ann Marie Weber, Consumer; Dr Wenchang Wong, Senior Radiation Oncologist, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, University of NSW.