What is Uveal Melanoma

About Uveal Melanoma

Quick Facts

  • Uveal melanoma is the most common eye cancer in adults.
  • Although it is called melanoma, it is much rarer than skin melanoma, approximately 200 people are diagnosed in Canada each year.
  • Treatment options include radiation therapy and surgery. There is no chemotherapy for uveal melanoma.
  • There is no cure for metastatic uveal melanoma; however, there are treatment options
  • Treatment can be successful if the tumours in the eye are caught early
  • If you are diagnosed with uveal melanoma, you are not alone, there are support programs and people to help you!

Types of Uveal Melanoma

The uvea is three-layered part of the eye. It is made up of the choroid, iris and ciliary body. Uveal melanoma can form in any of these layers and is named for where it forms:

  • Choroidal melanoma begins in the layer of blood vessels – the choroid – beneath the retina. It is the most common type of uveal melanoma.
  • Iris melanoma occurs in the front, colored part of the eye. Iris melanomas usually grow slowly and do not typically metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body outside the eye.
  • Ciliary melanoma occurs in the back part of the eye – in the ciliary body. Melanomas in the ciliary body tend to grow and metastasize to the liver more quickly than iris melanomas.

Types of Uveal descriptions provided from Melanoma Research Foundation

Staging and Treatment

A complete list of treatment along with staging information can be found in our Uveal Melanoma Guide. Click here to view the guide online or download

You are Not Alone

If you are in need of patient support, more information, or if you wish to speak with a patient support counsellor, contact Melanoma Network of Canada 905-901-5121 x108 or 1-877-560-8035 x112  or email support@melanomanetwork.ca

Melanoma Patient Connection Fall 2018


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This guide provides information for newly diagnosed patients with uveal melanoma. The guide provides a good overview of this rare and often challenging disease.


Ask questions or learn from others. Join our online patient community by visiting MNC uveal forum