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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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my brother has lost a lot of his vison in one eye. he has not

Customer Question

my brother has lost a lot of his vison in one eye. he has not hit his heave or scratched his eye. he is at the hotpital right now and they are thinking it could be 1 of 2 things a brain tumor or an eye tumer. is this cancer
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

Is your brother being examined by an ophthalmologist? Who is it that is limiting their differential diagnosis list to just these two possibilities?

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Dr. Rick :

Does he have any pain? Did the vision loss come on all at once or did it take some time?

Customer:

first the ophthalmologist that sent him to the er right away

Dr. Rick :

Does his external eye look normal to you or is it red etc?

Customer:

no phone only why

Dr. Rick :

Are you sure it was an ophthalmologist (MD)? or was it an optometerist (OD)?

Customer:

all of a sudden 4 days ago but has gotten worst

Customer:

*worse

Dr. Rick :

don't worry about typos.....

Dr. Rick :

Ok, well, first of all I would not rush to think it is either a brain tumor or an eye tumor that has caused your brothers vision loss.

Customer:

the optometrist sent him to a ophthalmologist who sent him to the hospital

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina surgeon. Is your brother 28?

Customer:

but that is what the the only thing the hospital has told us it could be

Customer:

26

Dr. Rick :

ok

Dr. Rick :

anyway, he is an adult. Other then the eye issue, is your brother otherwise healthy?

Customer:

sorry but what does being 28 have to do with it

Dr. Rick :

if he was a child the differential diagnosis list of an ocular mass would be different....

Dr. Rick :

Do you think that the ophthalmologist has consulted with a retina surgeon to see your brother in the ER right now?

Customer:

very healthy. he does suffer from a heart condition he only has 2 hear valves instead of 3!

Dr. Rick :

ok

Dr. Rick :

did you get my note about the type of doctor who is checking out your brother right now?

Customer:

no i lost everything

Dr. Rick :

ok

Customer:

some how

Dr. Rick :

it happens....

Dr. Rick :

do you think the ophthalmologist has consulted with a retina surgeon to come and examine your brother in the ER? Or who do you think is in there with him now?

Customer:

my brother is in the hospital where they freaked him out so he asked me to come on here and get more info because thats all he has be told

Dr. Rick :

Ya, I can understand the freaked out part.

Customer:

yes that has happened the only test they are waiting for is the mri but the told my mother he would more then likely need surgery!

Dr. Rick :

I really doubt it is a brain tumor.

Dr. Rick :

Do you know if a retina specialist has seen your brother?

Customer:

so is a tumor behind the eye considered cancer?

Customer:

yes he did

Customer:

they say the see something that is either on the eye or brain

Customer:

well behind the eye

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Then it is possible that your brother has a mass inside his eye that has caused his retina to detach leading to his loss of vision. If this were the case, and if his vision was already really bad (which, from your post, it seems that it is) then it would NOT be an emergency to rush off to surgery tonight.

Dr. Rick :

It should be easy to tell those two locations apart.

Dr. Rick :

What you need to do is grab one doctor, preferably the retina surgeon, and sit her down and have her, slowly and carefully, tell you, your mom and your brother what is going on.

Customer:

no he can hardly see in the eye only colors and blurry shapes

Dr. Rick :

Right now I think there are too many people giving partial answers, or incorrect answers/guesses on what is going on.

Dr. Rick :

Then it is not an emergency -- in the majority of cases -- to do anything late at night.

Customer:

we have tired but they are acting a little frantic which is now of course leading us to believe the worst!

Customer:

can you give me one sec im getting and up date

Dr. Rick :

Sound like the regular docs haven't dealt with this issue before. Hopefully one of the doctors is calm and collected.

Dr. Rick :

tell them you have a retina doc online

Customer:

ok the surgeon is leaning more towards a tumor in the eye! what does this mean as he is only talking to my brother right now

Dr. Rick :

If that is the case he may want to do a B scan and an A scan (a type of ultrasound like they use on pregnant women) to better evaluate the intraocular mass. I would suspect that your brothers retina is also detached and he may have other intraocular problems depending on the size of the mass.

Dr. Rick :

There are many things that can cause this type of finding in the eye and, I promise you, they are not all cancers. Now is not the time to jump to conclusions but rather to gather information.

Dr. Rick :

Are you getting more information?

Customer:

yes they ahve done both

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Sounds like your brother is getting excellent care.

Customer:

its more my worry due to the fact my father and myself are the only ones that have not had the big c

Customer:

sorry to take up to much of your time but can i please ask few more question just to put me at ease?

Dr. Rick :

Well, at this point all you can do is give your bother the support he needs while the doctors figure out what this thing is inside his eye.

Customer:

p.s its not looking good

Dr. Rick :

Of course. Don't worry about me :)

Dr. Rick :

Are they talking melanoma?

Customer:

if it is god forbid a brain or eye tumor how do they treat it and is it a form cancer?

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i heard the word and cancer and melanoma and
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
That depends upon the type of mass or tumor that they find. The first thing will be to figure this out. Then, depending on what it is, they may have to remove his eye, do radiation and/or chemo.

But. Let's not jump to conclusions and start stressing out about what might be in the future. Let's calm down, get all the information possible and then ask questions about reality instead of "what if's" OK? OK.

I would be happy to continue to assist you to better understand what is going on as you and your family move forward with this issue. Just ask for me or use the link to my name.

OK. The word melanoma being used by the retina surgeon is not a positive thing....keep me informed and I'll do my best to help you guys to better understand what is happening and what you can do.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

How's your brother doing?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 2 years ago.
I was just thinking about you and your brother and wondering what the final diagnosis was and how he is doing. I'd love to hear back from you and hear how everyone is doing if you have a chance

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