Eyelid Tumors/Cancer

There are 4 main types of eyelid cancers:

  • basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
    • BCC is the most common type of eyelid tumour, accounting for  about 85% of all eyelid tumours. It is also the most common type of cancer that  occurs outside the eyeball.
    • BCC of the eyelid usually affects adults, but may also occur in  younger people.
    • These tumours are related to sun exposure and are similar to basal cell carcinoma of  the skin.
    • BCC most often occurs in the lower eyelid.
  • squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
    • SCC of the eyelid is uncommon, accounting for about 5% of all  eyelid tumours.
    • It can occur from a precancerous  condition, such as actinic keratosis or Bowen’s disease.
    • These tumours are also related to sun exposure and are similar to  squamous cell carcinoma  of the skin.
    • SCC tends to behave more aggressively and is more likely to  spread than BCC.
  • sebaceous gland carcinoma (SGC)
    • SGC is cancer of the glands in the eyelid.
    • It is a rare tumour that may account for up to 5% of all eyelid  cancers.
    • It occurs more often in women than men and occurs most often in  the elderly.
    • These tumours develop most often on the upper eyelid, followed by  the lower eyelid and the caruncle.
      • SGC can start in the Meibomian glands, glands of Zeis or the  sebaceous glands of the caruncle.
    • SGC is often diagnosed at a later stage because it can mimic  benign conditions. It can also grow aggressively.
    • SGC may be multifocal (occurring in more than one place), so they  have a tendency to recur after treatment.
  • malignant melanoma
    • Melanoma of the eyelid is very uncommon and accounts for less  than 1% of all eyelid cancers.
    • Melanoma of the eyelid is similar to melanoma of the skin of the skin. It is staged and treated the same way as a skin  melanoma.