Eye Cancer Diagnosis

At Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, our highly trained specialists are committed to diagnosing you as quickly as possible. An accurate diagnosis allows us to determine the most effective treatment for you and begin it immediately. We also offer robust support services to treat the whole person.

Expert eye cancer diagnosis at AHN

At the Cancer Institute, our experienced team provides a fast and accurate diagnosis. We put our patients first, providing care that is:

  • Expert: Many eye cancers are first diagnosed as styes, abscesses, or irritation, which can delay getting the right diagnosis and beginning treatment. Our skilled ophthalmologists have decades of experience accurately diagnosing eye cancer, so you can begin fighting the cancer sooner.
  • Prompt: Our integrated approach allows us to schedule tests and get second opinions swiftly. You can begin treatment right away.
  • Noninvasive: All of our diagnostic procedures for eye cancer are noninvasive outpatient procedures. You won’t need much time, if any, to recover from these tests.

Diagnostic procedures for eye cancer

We first talk to you about your symptoms and perform an eye exam. Then we conduct diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of cancer and determine what type of eye cancer it is. We use different treatments for different types of eye cancer.

Tests may include:

  • Slit lamp examination: The physician uses a special microscope that provides a magnified, 3-D view of all parts of the eye. This noninvasive exam allows the ophthalmologist (eye doctor) to take a close look at the tissue to determine if a biopsy is needed.
  • Computerized eye and visual field testing: This noninvasive vision test measures your entire field of vision, including your peripheral (side) vision. Blind spots may indicate a form of a cancerous or noncancerous eye disease. For this exam, you simply need to follow testing instructions from the ophthalmologist.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Powerful magnets and radio waves give technicians a detailed picture of the entire head, including the eye, brain, and spinal cord.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: A combination of X-rays and computer technology produces detailed images of the eye, socket, and surrounding bones, so we can identify the exact location of the cancer. 
  • Vitrectomy: For this biopsy of the eye, the physician inserts very small instruments into the eye to take a sample of the vitreous gel. You receive local anesthetic so you won’t feel pain during this outpatient procedure.
  • Surgical biopsy: Often we can do a biopsy of lesions of the eyelid or ocular surface in the office with a local anesthetic.

Eye cancer treatment

Once we have made the diagnosis and confirmed the presence and stage of cancer, you are ready to begin treatment. You meet with your entire care team within three days of diagnosis. Our treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Find out more about our approach to treating eye cancer.

Contact us

Call the AHN Cancer Help Line anytime at (412) NURSE-4-U (412) 687-7348 to schedule a cancer-related appointment or to just talk with our nurses about diagnoses, treatments, and side effects.