Tumor Behind Eye: What Does It Mean? Is It Cancer?

Mohd Sufyan   by Mohd Sufyan, BSME, MBA    Last updated on April 22, 2019,

tumor behind eye

 

I have a tumor behind eye. What does it indicate? Can it be cancer?

Tumors in the eye are generally secondary tumors that are caused by cancers that have spread from other parts of the body, such as the breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer etc.

There are two types of primary tumors that develop within the eye itself and are known as retinoblastoma in children and melanoma in adults.

But all tumors in the eye or behind the eye are not cancers. Some of them are non-cancerous that is benign tumors. A non-cancerous tumour of the eye is a growth that does not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Non-cancerous tumours are not generally life-threatening and ganerous.

What are the signs and symptoms of a tumor behind the eye or in the eye?

Non-cancerous tumours of the eye have almost same signs and symptoms as that of a cancerous tumor. Common signs are:

  • bulging (protrusion) of the eye generally without pain
  • redness in the eye
  • changes in the vision or loss of vision
  • eye irritation
  • burning, itching in the eye
  • swelling of the eye
  • a feeling that something is there in the eye

More: Eye Cancer (Ocular Cancer) Causes, Symptoms, Types, Stages, Risks, Treatment, Prevention

More: Unilateral vs Bilateral Retinoblastoma of eye

What causes a tumor behind the eye?

Cavernous hemangioma: Tumor behind the eye

A cavernous hemangioma is a non-cancerous tumour that develops in blood vessels of the eye socket (called orbit) behind the eye. It can be a tumor behind left eye or a tumor behind right eye. It may cause bulging of the eye (called proptosis) that is usually painless.

Treatment of this condition is done through surgery. Some smaller tumours don’t need to be removed, though and are not dangerous as long as they do not cause pain.

Sphenoid meningiomas are tumors behind the eyes


Meningioma is a type of tumor that grows from the meninges. Meninges is the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord. Most meningiomas are benign and slow growing.

Sphenoid meningiomas are a type of meningiomas that grow along the sphenoid ridge behind the eyes. These tumors can cause problems such as:

  • visual problems
  • loss of sensation in the face
  • facial numbness

There may be other reasons for the tumors behind or under eyes. Cancers is one of them. If you notice any symptoms of a tumor in the eye, you should contact a doctor (ophthalmologist) at the earliest.