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Tumors of the Orbit

By

James Garrity

, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Last full review/revision Aug 2021| Content last modified Aug 2021
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Rarely, tumors, either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign), occur in the tissues behind the eye.

Tumors can form within the tissues behind the eye or can spread from an adjacent nasal sinus (air-filled cavity behind the nose). Cancerous tumors from elsewhere in the body can also spread (metastasize) to tissues behind the eye.

These tumors can push the eye forward and cause it to bulge abnormally (a finding called proptosis Eyes, Bulging Bulging or protruding of one or both eyes is called proptosis or exophthalmos. Exophthalmos is usually used when describing bulging eyes caused by Graves disease, a disorder causing overactivity... read more Eyes, Bulging ). Pain, double vision, droopy eyelid, and vision loss may also occur.

Treatment depends on the type of tumor. For benign tumors, treatment, if required, may include drugs, laser therapy, or surgical removal. Malignant tumors may require surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination.

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