Tumors found within the eye are rare, and in most cases are diagnosed benign. However, cancer of the eye is a serious condition that can be accurately diagnosed by Dr. Shalesh Kaushal, our trusted board-certified retina surgeon. At Comprehensive Retina Consultants in Ocala, FL, our advanced diagnostic technologies are able to catch intraocular tumors in the early phases and detect whether they are benign or malignant. Tumors of the eye can be found in the retina, as well as in the iris and other areas. Dr. Kaushal uses laser technology to treat benign tumors and works with patients who are diagnosed with a malignancy, which can often lead to additional problems such as glaucoma. If not treated properly, intraocular tumors can lead to vision loss and even cause blindness.


Tumors of the eye can take on many forms; there is not one specific reason as to where they develop and why. They form when cells begin to grow uncontrollably, which disrupts the balance between cell growth and cell death and causes abnormalities. Although research continues to uncover more about intraocular tumors, the exact cause is unknown. However, underlying health problems, genetics, certain illnesses, viruses, as well as exposure to ultraviolet light and other toxins can attribute to these growths.

When tumors are diagnosed as malignant, they are generally classified as intraocular melanoma (when pigment-making cells in the eye grow excessively) or primary intraocular lymphoma (cancer that started elsewhere in the body). Specifically, with primary intraocular lymphoma, the tumors begin in the lymph nodes and the cells disperse through the body, some appearing in the eyes. Lung cancer is an example of cancer where the cells can spread to the eyes. Patients diagnosed with intraocular tumors will experience an assortment of symptoms depending on whether the tumor is benign or cancerous, but most individuals will have severe eye pain, see floaters and flashes of light, experience a loss of vision, and will have a discoloration of the iris.


During a thorough eye exam, Dr. Kaushal will use various forms of diagnostic technologies and methods to check to see if a tumor is present in the eye. With ultrasound images, or special light waves using optical coherence tomography (OCT), he will be able to see if an abnormality is present and then use a special dye to highlight areas of concern. As a skilled retina surgeon, if Dr. Kaushal feels a biopsy is necessary, he will use a fine needle to remove cells for further testing. Treatment will depend on whether the growth comes back as benign or malignant. He may refer his patients to an ocular oncologist, and he will work carefully with the specialist to ensure treatment is outlined effectively for an optimal outcome.


Intraocular tumors are treated based on the severity of the condition and the overall diagnosis. Common treatment modalities include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Eye wall resection – surgical removal of the tumor
  • Plaque radiotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Eye enucleation – used for late-stage tumors, which involves the removal and replacement of the eye with a prosthesis

It’s important to note that malignant tumors of the eye are somewhat rare. However, if an intraocular tumor is found to be cancerous, there are a number of ways to treat it. While they can be unpredictable and lead to possible vision loss, if diagnosed early and treatment is started as soon as possible, better outcomes can be achieved. If the tumor is benign, Dr. Kaushal will work with the patient and treat the abnormality, which in most cases, is not life threatening.


Dr. Shalesh Kaushal is a retina specialist that works with patients who have been diagnosed with intraocular tumors. He strives to provide compassion and the most thorough diagnosis so each patient can be treated for an optimal outcome. Dr. Kaushal has the resources, trained eye, skill, and in-office technology and is considered a distinguished retina specialist passionate for helping his patients through every phase of treatment. We invite you to call our Ocala, FL office and schedule your appointment today.