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Old 04-01-2006, 03:07 PM   #1
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Question Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

One in both eyes..... I am new here and worried.. I am a 53 year old female who had no eye problems until my mid forties..... then came dry eye... which I am attempting to deal with..... that and reading glasses.... now this...

Well, had my trip to the eye doc (first in 4 years). She did find what she called a "freckle"... one in each eye. Does anyone else here have this??? It concerns me because she said that 1 in 1000 persons can develope a problem (cancer) with these... the same as sun freckles on the skin....
Are there any nutrients or what that I can do to help keep this on the healthy side??? Maybe I worry to much....but next to death...my eye sight is of a HUGH CONCERN!!! I worry over the littlest things...part of me wishs she had kept this to herself and just checked it every year. I can't get it out of my mind now.......

Vicki

 
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

If you haven't seen an ophthalmologist yet, now sounds like a good time.

Last edited by seriousperson; 04-01-2006 at 05:31 PM.

 
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousperson
If you haven't seen an ophthalmologist yet, now sounds like a good time.
She is..... she is also an eye surgeon....

Vicki

 
Old 04-02-2006, 02:26 PM   #4
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Don't worry about it. SHe called it a freckle because that's what it is. It's no more serious than a freckle on your skin. Just be sure to get dilated every year to keep an on it.

 
Old 04-02-2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

The retina has one of the highest demands for oxygen per square millimeter of any tissue in the body. To satisfy this high demand for oxygen, the retina sits on top of a very vascular membrane known as the choroid. The choroid contains pigment cells. Occasionally these pigment cells may clump together forming a freckle. This tends to occur more commonly as people get older and is similar to aging spots on the skin. These freckles of pigment in the choroid are known as choroidal nevi.

Choroidal nevi are very common. When followed for many years over 5% of choroidal nevi may grow in size. If the nevi occur beneath the macula, the central area of the retina responsible for fine vision, they may cause some distortion and blurring of vision. Nevi in many ways are similar to freckles on the skin. Freckles on the skin very rarely can develop into a cancer known as a melanoma. When this happens the freckle may grow in size or change color. A similar change may occur to choroidal nevi. If this happens the nevus may need to be treated or studied in order to determine if it has turned into a cancer. It is important to understand that this is a very rare event, however.

Freckles on the skin are easy to see and follow. Choroidal nevi cannot be seen unless your eye doctor looks into the back of the eye. For this reason, people with choroidal nevi are usually asked to see their eye doctor on a regular basis so that any growth or changes can be studied further. Your eye doctor may wish to have photographs taken of the nevus for future comparison. Occasionally a more sophisticated test involving the injection of a dye in the arm accompanied by photographs of the back of eye using special filters known as a fluorescein angiogram may be performed. This test shows the pattern of blood vessels in and around the nevus. People with choroidal nevi need not be concerned as long as they see their eye doctor on a regular basis, because choroidal nevi very rarely cause any problems.

 
Old 04-07-2006, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Wow. This is one of the BEST explanations of choroidal nevi I've ever read. Thank you!

I am currently one of those "rare" cases whose nevus has grown. It was discovered last summer during a routine eye exam with my eyes dilated. My opthamologist sent me to a retinal specialist who sent me to an occular oncologist, Devron Char. After a myriad of tests, my diagnosis is: nevoma, which is a term Dr. Char coined to define a tumor that is between a nevus and a melanoma. It is a medium-sized tumor as far as nevi go. Based on his findings, there is a "relatively high risk" that my tumor will require treatment within the next five years.

I will see Dr. Char every 4-5 months for the rest of my life (my third third appointment is coming up in a week or so). It used to be that the only treatment was enucleation - removal of one's eye. In the last 10-15 years or so, radiation therapy and laser surgery have replaced enucleation with similar survival rates.

So, why not just treat the tumor right now? Well, one of the side effects of therapy and surgery is that you will lose some or all of your vision in the treated eye. How much you lose depends on the size of the tumor, it's location in respect to your optical nerve, and I guess, on how well you heal (not sure).

EYESTWO22, I would love to hear more from you on this. The most current info that I've found were on sites like Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study site. The info today is the same as I found in August 2005. Is there anyplace else I can get some info?

Sweetpoison, the sites I mention will scare the crap out of you (well, it scared me) and I think, based on your description that your nevus is just a nevus at this point, you may want to skip this reading until you need it, and you may NEVER need it. Good luck to you!

Last edited by jimmielegs; 04-07-2006 at 12:51 PM.

 
Old 04-08-2006, 05:41 AM   #7
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

jimmielegs :

Like a raised freckle on the skin, a nevus can occur inside the eye. And, like a skin nevus, a choroidal freckle can become malignant, so should be closely monitored. A choroidal nevus should be examined by an ophthalmologist every four to six months to check if the pigmentation or size of the nevus has changed. In most cases, the only treatment recommended is close observation and monitoring by an ocular oncologist.

If,in fact,your Ocular Oncologist has found more evidence of choroidal melanomia,than this is something of more concern.A choroidal melanoma is malignant, meaning that the cancer may metastasize and eventually spread to other parts of the body. Because choroidal melanoma is intraocular and not usually visible, patients with this disease often do not recognize its presence until the tumor grows to a size that impairs vision by obstruction, retinal detachment, hemorrhage, or other complication. Pain is unusual, except with large tumors. Periodic retinal examination through a dilated pupil is the best means of early detection.

Treatment recommendations for choroidal melanoma usually are based on the size of the tumor. Small suspicious melanomas usually are closely watched for evidence of growth before treatment is recommended. Medium-size tumors may be treated with either radioactive plaque therapy or enucleation (removal) of the eye.

Your Ocular Oncologist (Dr. Char), is truly your best source of professional knowledge. I am sure he will give you as much information as you need and desire for complition of your treatment, if needed.

Stay positive - Time is still on your side.

Eyes

 
Old 04-12-2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Yep, my tumor is well past the nevus stage and juuuust beyond the size of a small melanoma. We are watching it carefully for any change and I am relying on Dr. Char's expertise in determining when treatment is necessary.

At my last visit, the appointments got really backed up and I had an opportunity to speak with a couple of people who had received radioactive plaque treatment. One woman who had a very large melanoma has a sliver of sight at the bottom of her treated eye. A young man with a large melanoma still has half his vision (kind of at a diagonal) in his treated eye. He is doing well eight years after his treatment.

I know I'm lucky in that this was found early-ish because you are right that there are NO symptoms. Thank you for the information - you bet I'll stay positive!

Last edited by jimmielegs; 04-12-2006 at 11:34 AM.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

legs :

Treatment recommended in Medium-sized tumors may be treated with radioactive plaque therapy. The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS), supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, has documented equal success rates for plaque radiation therapy for preventing the spread of cancer.

Hopefully enculeation is a very last choice in your course of treatment. you may want to reserch the above named Institutes.

Cancer has been beat---Your a Positve Person

Eyes

 
Old 04-15-2006, 07:37 PM   #10
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Oh, crap...... now I wish I had not checked back.... so far I had not heard from anyone that there freckle had actually turned. Now...there goes the mind again. I went back to my doc last week and she had done a fairly good job of calming me.... I had a list of questions all prepared and we went over them all. She said that she estimates that one in five of her patients have this condition and in 20 + years she has yet to have a patients turn "bad". This kinda made me feel alittle better...since I have them in BOTH EYES!!! Guess all I can do is pray and try and put it out of my mind....if I dont...I will have no peace....I tend to dwell on these things....cancer is scary..but to have it in the eye...to lose your sight and possible your eye (s)...
Doc told me I can come back in 6 months if I want (I am) although she felt a year was o.k.

I pray for you also........ I am not a church going person.... but I do pray every night...

Vicki

I was wondering......and forgot to ask the doc with my many, many questions... IF THEY GROW....DOES THAT ALWAYS MEAN THEY ARE CANCER??? Freckles on the skin change...get larger or darker and are not cancer most of the time.

Last edited by sweetpoison; 04-15-2006 at 07:41 PM.

 
Old 04-17-2006, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpoison
I was wondering......and forgot to ask the doc with my many, many questions... IF THEY GROW....DOES THAT ALWAYS MEAN THEY ARE CANCER??? Freckles on the skin change...get larger or darker and are not cancer most of the time.
My tumor is mottled in appearance, and when I saw a picture, it reminded me of pictures of cancerous moles. I would assume that if my nevus had grown and was just evenly brown and didn't have any depth to it, it would not be a problem (just like a freckle on your skin that grows but stays an even color).

About 6-8 people in one million are diagnosed with choroidal melanoma each year. That's pretty rare. You have a nevus in each eye; it may never become cancerous.

Vicki, where abouts are you located (generally)? I am seeing Dr. Char in San Francisco, and I know that folks fly in from (say) Colorado to see him. He is a doctor who specializes in research and treatment of choroidal cancer. I know there are other experts throughout the U.S. as well. Right now, you are doing exactly what you should be doing: you are asking questions and planning to see your doc on a regular basis to follow up.

You probably wish this had never happened, that somehow you could just reverse time and make it all go away. I certainly feel like that. I think about this every day, but I don't think about it ALL day long, know what I mean?

My appointment is tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens. In the meantime, hugs and good thoughts winging your way.

Eyes, thanks again for posting. I've checked out CMOS and other sites. It's scary reading but at the same time encouraging. See how far we've come in treating this!

Edited to add: OK, I'm screaming inside. Doc's office just called to say they have many new patients and would it be possible to postpone my appointment until next week or (get this!?!!!) JULY. WHAT???!!!! After snapping back "I have a tumor in my EYE, I have to be checked every four months!" I regained my composure and remembered that when I was newly diagnosed I was seen by Dr. Char in one week flat and how comforting it was to be seen right away. So I am postponed until next Thursday (jimmielegs takes a deep breath, and another one...). It'll be ok.

Last edited by jimmielegs; 04-17-2006 at 02:01 PM.

 
Old 04-17-2006, 03:01 PM   #12
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

I am sorry to hear you were postponed..... waiting is just awful. I am in Cleveland Ohio. 6 or 8 in a million....those are great odds. Doc had told me it was more like 1 in every 1000. I like the odds you give better

Hope all goes well, keep in touch.

Vicki

 
Old 04-18-2006, 06:07 AM   #13
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

So I am postponed until next Thursday (jimmielegs takes a deep breath, and another one...). It'll be ok.[/QUOTE

Staff members in a Dr's office are only doing what they are told in making appointments. You did the right thing to insist on an "early" appointment. And always remember, talk directly to the DR. The "buck" stops with Dr. Char !

keep us informed.

Eyes

 
Old 04-28-2006, 10:56 AM   #14
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

OK. My tumor is stable, little to no change since December. I am to return in five months for the usual tests (A and B scan ultrasound, standard retinal photography, flouroscein angiogram, and fundus(?) photo). This is good news, and at the same time, I am aware that I will eventually need treatment as I know this thing will grow. It just will; that's what choroidal tumors do. (Vickie, that is NOT to say your nevus will grow. A nevus is NOT a tumor, ok?)

A doctor friend of ours made an interesting comments when I told him about my latest visit. I said that I was glad to have my vision for five more months, and that the treatment I would eventually need was not an awful thought. I mean, yes, it will affect my vision, but I will not die. We just need to watch this tumor for growth and treat when necessary. And my friend said, "you have the female version of prostate cancer." Ahhhh. Yeah, that's it, really. We are in a "watchful waiting" mode. Made it much less ominous for me.

Make sense?

Last edited by jimmielegs; 05-01-2006 at 10:11 AM.

 
Old 05-02-2006, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: Doc says I have an "EYE FRECKLE" ???

Hi

Today I had both eyes dilated and they found I have freckles on each retina. I didnt realise how serious this could be until I started looking on the internet and on this site - now I am panicing!!!!! my doc said that i dont need to go back for a year but what if they did turn cancerous is a year too late?? should i contact my doc again and ask for a second opinion - cos how does he know for definite that they are not cancerous???

Jimmielegs - you are very brave (I dont think I could cope!)

 
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