Eyelid tumors are carcinomas or skin cancers which occur in the upper or lower eyelid. They generally appear as non-healing areas of the eyelid which occasionally heal. As with all cancers, eyelid tumors can be either benign or malignant. Benign eyelid tumors are concentrated lumps of cancer cells which do not spread into neighboring non-cancer cells.
On the other hand, malignant eyelid tumors are made of cancer cells which invade neighboring cells and thus can be metastatic, which means it could spread cancerous cells to the rest of the body. All malignant eyelid tumors can be made of either basal, sebaceous or squamous carcinoma cells. Subsequently, it is the basal malignant carcinoma which is the most common eyelid tumor.
Eyelid tumors are correlated to high sun and UV exposure as well as one’s genetic inheritance.
Eyelid tumors can lead to a loss in eyelashes, a reduction in lid margin and an irregular appearance to skin as well as the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, if malignant.
Treatment of eyelid tumors involves taking a biopsy of the eyelid to diagnose the cancer, excising the tumor out of the eyelid, and using reconstructive surgery to restore the eye back to its normal appearance. Other modalities of treatment include radiation and chemotherapy.