There are many tumors that can affect the eyelids. Some of the more common and serious tumors are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma and sebaceous gland carcinoma. Most of the “dangerous” eyelid tumors occur in fair-skinned patients, who have a history of sun exposure. There is often a loss of eyelashes at the site of the lesion.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common tumor affecting the eyelids, accounting for about 85% of all eyelid tumors. It is often located on the lower eyelid and looks like a “pearly” nodule that is non-tender. Squamous cell carcinoma of the eyelid often presents as a raised bump on the lower eyelid with an associated loss of eyelashes. Sebaceous gland carcinoma can often masquerade as chronic inflammation of the eyelids, as seen with blepharitis or recurrent styes or chalazia on the same eyelid. This potentially lethal tumor is especially worrisome, as it may be undiagnosed for years and it can spread to other parts of the eye and body. Malignant melanoma is a darkly pigmented area or bump on the eyelid, although some may not be pigmented. They are common in fair skinned individuals who enjoy being out in the sun, and account for the many of the deaths related to eyelid tumors.
If you have noticed an eyelid bump and are not sure what it is, not to worry. Make an appointment with your ophthalmologist today, who can examine it and perhaps even biopsy or remove it. The worst thing that you can do for yourself is ignore it, so please, get it checked out!