According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women and about 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in a lifetime. This cancer is very prevalent and has touched many families in the nation. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have many issues to deal with such as testing and doctors’ visits. One doctor that should be a part of the team is the eye care professional. The medications from dealing with breast cancer can cause eye problems and breast cancer can metastasize to the eye.
Certain medications used to treat breast cancer can have eye side effects. One well known medication is tamoxifen which can cause ocular toxicity. Other side effects from chemotherapy and pain medications may include contact lens discomfort, dryness, and blurry vision.
An overlooked fact is that breast cancer can metastasize to the eye as a choroidal melanoma - a type of eye cancer. Choroidal melanoma is the most common type of eye tumor for women resulting from breast cancer.
The greatest defense is to have a yearly eye exam. If one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, then eye exams should be scheduled more frequently in order to treat side effects from medications and to rule out possibility of choroidal melanoma. Remember that many eye diseases, including choroidal melanoma, may have no obvious symptoms so be sure to get your eyes checked.