What is eyelid cancer?The most common type of eyelid cancer is basal cell carcinoma. Basal cell cancer comes from the innermost layer of the skin. Ultraviolet radiation is thought to be the cause of most basal cell cancers. People with fair complexions have a higher risk of developing the condition.
What does eyelid cancer look like?Basal cell often starts as a small, raised bump or lump on the eyelid. The lower eyelid is affected more often than the upper eyelid. As the cancer progresses, it may develop into a shiny, smooth nodule with an indented center.
Can you prevent eyelid cancer?The best way to prevent eyelid cancer is to protect your eyes. Use the following tips to help prevent eyelid cancer:
- Limit sun exposure
- Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection
- Apply sunscreen to your face (take care not to get it in your eyes)
- Wear a visor or a hat to shade your eyes
- Have an annual eye examination
What you should know about eyelid cancerAlthough your optometrist or ophthalmologist is trained to diagnose lesions on your eyelid, you will probably be referred to a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment. A true diagnosis can only be made by a microscopic examination of the cells.
Catania, Louis J. Primary Care of the Anterior Segment, 2nd Edition. Appleton & Lange, 1995, pp 107-108.