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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I went for a routine eye exam last week and my opthamologist

Resolved Question:

I went for a routine eye exam last week and my opthamologist found a cyst in my right eye. He has referred me to an eye specialist for an ultrasound to be safe.

I am a breast cancer survivor and was diagnosed with DCIS in both breasts, both found early; I had a lumpectomy and radiation in one breast and a mastectomy in the other breast. I also have a very strong family history of melanoma and have fair skin and red hair. Am I at increased risk of additional cancers given my personal and family history? How common is melanoma in the eye?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

are you available to chat?

Customer :

yes-thanks

Dr. Rick :

Is you vision affected?

Customer :

no-no symptoms at all

Dr. Rick :

Did he say anything about the cyst? Do an angiogram, b scan or anything like that?

Dr. Rick :

did you have chemo in addition to your radiation treatments?

Customer :

He said he thought it was probably not serious-thought it had clear fluid and not too large and siad he was being cautious referring me for the ultrasound to get a baseline. My breast cancers were both in situ-stage 1 and I did not need chemo for either. Also had 2 chalazions (sp) removed and have had some had a few skin biopsies that were just basal cells removed over the years.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. That is good. Where did he say the cyst was located? Retina? Optic Nerve? Ciliary body? Etc?

Customer :

I was too stunned to ask good questions...he dilated my eye and used a microscope to view it. He was able to get a pic using his phone and I could see it...

Dr. Rick :

did he send the picture to your phone?

Customer :

no-I'll call his office on Monday and ask for it.

Dr. Rick :

he should be able to text it to you. In any event let's get to your questions:

Dr. Rick :

Yes, you are at increased risk for additional cancers given your personal and family history. The fact that your eye was not in the radiation treatment field is a good thing in that I wouldn't expect your chance for a primary eye tumor to be increased from the treatment of your breast cancer.

Dr. Rick :

Melanoma is very, very rare. I see it a lot, but then I my primary practice is diseases of the retina and vitreous so they all get sent to me

Dr. Rick :

It would be nice to have a picture of the lesion but there are many, many things that can look like a cyst in the eye without having to invoke "cancer" as their underlying cause.

Customer :

Im waiting for a referral to get the u;trasound and trying not to jump to conclusions-but it's beena rough couple of years and I'm anxious. I'm in the Boston area-is there a doctor you would recommmend here?

Dr. Rick :

There are about billion of them in Bean town. Some of the best retina/eye cancer doctors in the world are just down the coast from you. Dr's Shield (husband and wife) at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, and their entire department have written the vast majority of the books on this topic for the last 3 decades.

Dr. Rick :

If you can't travel Mass Eye & Ear is also in the top 10 places in the world to go for eye care.

Customer :

OK-good to know. I'll take it one step at a time and hope for the best!

Dr. Rick :

I would not jump to them yet....just like you just typed......but wait for the Bscan (ultrasound) and exam by the Retina specialist I'm sure your ophthalmologist is sending you too.....

Customer :

I'm very close to Mass Eye & Ear- hopefully that will work out.

Dr. Rick :

Then, if needed, go to Mass eye and ear. Make sure that they look at your eye though....you know how them Harvard types can get confused on what's an Ear and what's an Eye :o)

Customer :

I work at Harvard B School-LOL.

Dr. Rick :

(sorry....just had to get in a dig against my rivals at Harvaaard :)

Dr. Rick :

Just put a stick note on your forehead with "eye" and an arrow pointing down. They should be ok then.....

Dr. Rick :

See....got 'cha smiling :)

Customer :

No worries. Do you know what they teach Harvard MBA's?

Dr. Rick :

they can be taught?

Customer :

They can be taught to hire BOSTON COLLEGE grads (my alma mater.)

Dr. Rick :

Truth.

Dr. Rick :

Now. Don't panic until you need to, ok?

Customer :

thanks for chatting. I'll rest easier tonight. Have a good evening.

Dr. Rick :

You too. If I can help go over any of the finding you receive feel free to drop me a note and I'll do my best to explain what they are trying to tell you...

Customer :

Thanks-will do.

Dr. Rick :

goodnight

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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