Hi - I am Dr.. Trace and I would be happy to answer your question. If you have a brown spot on the inner white part of your eye this could possibly be melanoma. Conjunctival melanoma has become more prevalent in recent years, just like melanoma of the skin. A biopsy by your ophthalmologist is absolutely the correct thing to do if he or she suspects melanoma.
The floaters and flashes in the eye are unrelated to the conjunctival lesion. Having said this, they should be checked as well by your doctor doing a full dilated retinal examination of the peripheral and central retina.
Hi welcome to the chat.
So my Dr. said that my age and because I was white and my sister and father both had melanomas of the skin that would make me more susceptible to melanoma. Do you agree?
Did your doctor do a full retinal examination after the bright white flashes began?
Yes. Caucasian people definitely have a higher incidence of melanoma. In dark skinned African Americans, we sometimes see pigment on the conjunctiva and it is less likely to be melanoma. With your family history and skin color you do have a higher risk.
He did one on Tuesday of this week. Unfortunately I waited a year or more before seeing the dr. He did a very thorough exam and said he was concerned about what he saw. I had failed to tell him about the bright flashes but I willnext week when he does the biopsy.
I don't want you to panic before the results of the biopsy are in. Sometimes we jump to the worst conclusions before we know anything.
I don't want to worry before I know but based on what I have told you, do you think It could be a reality
It is a possibility. But many things are possible and at this point you don't know. I also want you to know that the statistics for conjunctival melanoma are not as grim as skin melanoma. They are not exactly the same disease.
Thank you for your answers. I dont
feel so bad now.
Good, I am glad. I want you to have your retina checked again in about a month because of the floaters and flashes as that is the standard of care but I would not be too worried since your doc did a full retina exam. As far as the conjunctival lesion is concerned, just because it looks like melanoma, doesn't mean it is. Get the biopsy done. If it's positive, you can be well treated. If it is negative, then you can be happy to put this fear behind you.
I appreciate your advice. Thanks again.