In the case of malignant eye tumors in the lids, early detection and treatment greatly enhance the chances of better outcomes. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the eyelid are highly treatable forms of cancer if detected early when the tumor is still tiny.
The primary treatment for eyelid tumors involves surgical excision or other forms of removal of the tumor.
Kind oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui of the The Eyelid Institute provides treatment for malignant eyelid tumor to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and other cities and suburbs across the horizon.
Determining the Surgical Technique
The most appropriate surgical procedure will be determined according to the type of cancer as well as the characteristics of the tumor. For example, squamous cell carcinomas require the excision of a wider margin and adjuvant therapy relative to basal cell carcinomas.
The characteristics of the tumor will include:
- Primary or recurrent tumor
This resection procedure involves the complete removal of the tumor in addition to a margin of healthy tissue. The size of the margin can range from three to 15 mm according to the grade of the tumor and related risks. For small tumors with a low risk of recurrence, local spread or metastasis, local resection with a margin is an ideal procedure.
The patient typically requires only this procedure unless they have melanoma. They will not need any further treatment if the excisional biopsy successfully removes the entire tumor. This procedure is usually undertaken as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia in a hospital setting.
After the tumor is excised, it is sent to a lab for histopathologic examination. The patient may need eyelid reconstruction or wound closure. However, this will depend on the size of the tumor.
The surgeon will remove the tumor as well as a narrow margin of tissue surrounding it. They will send the sample to the lab for examination and bandage the wound temporarily. The surgeon completes the tissue examination at the histopathology lab under a microscope to make sure that the margin does not display any cancerous cells.
The surgeon maps this sample to the eyelid. This helps the surgeon detect the precise location of any tumor cells and undertake a more thorough excision procedure in that particular area. The surgeon repeats this process until the margins cease to display any tumor cells.
Mohs surgery is an efficient and successful treatment for basal and squamous cell carcinoma, which are the most common skin cancers to occur in the eyelid. This procedure allows the surgeon to excise all malignant cells including those that are situated deeper and are challenging to detect while not impacting the surrounding normal tissue.
Curettage and Electrodissection
In this treatment, the surgeon uses heat to ablate the cancerous tumor tissue while closing off the blood vessels in the area. Subsequently, the surgeon removes the dead tissue. This procedure can remove small (less than 2 cm) BCCs that occur near the skin’s surface as well as in situ SCCs.