Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

Retina and vitreous

Intraocular tumors

What are intraocular tumors?

Intraocular tumors are those tumors that appear inside the eye.

They appear in different ways:

Retinoblastoma: It is the most common malignant intraocular tumor in childhood. It is essential to diagnose and treat it early as it is very aggressive.

Choroidal melanoma: It usually derives from the choroid, being the most frequent malignant intraocular tumor in adults. It can be primary or the result of metastasis from another tumor, such as lung or breast.

Choroidal hemangioma: It is a benign tumor (it does not spread), but it has a very fast and aggressive growth, being able to injure the optic nerve and the macula, which produces a severe loss of vision.

Why do intraocular tumors occur?

Most intraocular tumors in adults do not have a clear cause of appearance. They may be associated with a syndrome or may result from the metastasis of another primary tumor. However, half of retinoblastomas are congenital, that is, from birth, by transmission from one generation to another.

How do intraocular tumors manifest?

These tumors are usually asymptomatic and are discovered incidentally on routine examination. As they are tumors that are located inside the eye, they do not cause problems until they grow, where they can cause retinal detachment, intraocular hemorrhage or decreased vision.

Treatment of intraocular tumors

Depending on the type of tumor, malignancy, location and size, one type of treatment or another is given. In malignant tumors, microincision surgery is generally performed together with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
For specific cases such as choroidal melanoma, the treatment of choice is plate brachytherapy (application of local radiotherapy in the tumor).

For retinoblastoma it is very important to assess the different treatments and accompany it with chemotherapy, since it is very sensitive to it.

Finally, for choroidal hemangiomas, photodynamic therapy is often used.

It can happen that the tumors reappear after having been treated, for this reason it is important to carry out a periodic follow-up after the treatment.

Prevention of intraocular tumors

These tumors are not preventable, but early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent secondary vision loss or spread.



Adult tumors usually appear around the age of 50.


Asymptomatic or vision loss, retinal detachment or intraocular hemorrhage.


Annual eye fundus examination from the age of 50.


Prevention There is no way to prevent them, but it is important to diagnose them early.

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