If your doctor thinks that you have cancer of the eye, he or she will arrange for you to have some tests to help with diagnosis. You may be referred to a doctor who specialises in eye conditions (an ophthalmologist), and perhaps to a doctor who specialises in cancer (an oncologist) as well.

There are several different types of tests you could have, depending on the type of cancer you are suspected of having.

This test is similar to a regular eye test. Your ophthalmologist will use several different instruments to examine the inside of your eye.

Fluorescein angiography
In this test, a dye called fluorescein is injected into your arm. This travels through your blood to vessels in your eyes. A photograph of your eye is taken with a special camera fitted with filters that make the dye visible. The blood vessels inside your eye can then be examined on the photograph.

Ultrasound scan
After giving you some eye drops, your doctor will move a small ultrasound probe over the surface of your eye (through closed eyelids) or on the skin around it. The probe produces sound waves which are used to create an image of the inside of your eye.

Computerised tomography (CT) scan
You may have a CT scan of your head. A CT scan uses X-rays to make a three-dimensional picture of the inside of a part of your body. This helps to show up tumours in and around your eye and whether they have spread.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
An MRI scan uses magnets and radio waves to produce images of the inside of your body. This is sometimes used to find eye tumours.

Sometimes your doctor will want to take a biopsy. A biopsy is a small sample of tissue. This will be sent to a laboratory for testing to find out what type of cancer you have. The procedure can be carried out under local or general anaesthetic.


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