Many people are surprised to learn that cancer can develop on the eyelids. Since eyelid cancer is something that the Eyesthetica team sees regularly, we want all of our readers to have accurate information about its symptoms, treatment, and prevention. Read on as our cosmetic eye and facial surgeons in Los Angeles answer some of the most frequently asked questions about eyelid cancer.

Is eyelid cancer common?

Skin cancers of the eyelid are more common than you may think, accounting for five to 10 percent of all skin cancers.

What are the most common types of eyelid tumors?

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

What are the symptoms of eyelid cancer?

The primary symptom of eyelid cancer is a growth on the eyelid that may be asymmetrical in nature, bleed or look like an open sore or wound. Sometimes the eyelashes may fall out or a “notch” may appear in the eyelid. Eyelid cancer usually does not cause any pain.

Are there any factors that raise a person’s risk of developing eyelid cancer?

One of the most important risk factors for eyelid cancer is exposure to UV radiation. Residents of areas that are sunny year-round are at a heightened risk of developing eyelid cancer, as are people that spend a lot of time outdoors or in tanning beds. People with fair skin that burns or freckles easily, and light hair and eyes are also more likely to develop eyelid cancer. And, people that are immunosuppressed or have had radiation to the face are more likely to develop eyelid cancer.

Keep in mind that some people with risk factors never develop cancer, whereas others with no known risk factors do develop cancer.

Can I prevent eyelid cancer?

The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of eyelid cancer is to protect yourself from the sun by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat. Keeping your immune system strong may also help.

How is eyelid cancer treated?

Treating eyelid cancer typically involves surgically removing the tumor and reconstructing the eyelid. There are different ways to remove the tumor, depending on its type, size, and exact location.

Our oculoplastic surgeons can then use a variety of techniques to restore the eyelid and the surrounding structures to their normal appearance and function.

I have just been diagnosed with eyelid cancer. What should I do?

Our team recommends seeking treatment as soon as possible. If not treated, the tumor can spread, making it more difficult to remove it and reconstruct the affected area.

How can I learn more?

For more information about eyelid tumor surgery, please call or email the eyelid experts at Eyesthetica today.