Hi! I am Summer, I am 25 years old and have been battling Ocular Melanoma for the past five years. Ocular Melanoma is a rare form of eye cancer.
I was born in West Virginia. However, I was raised in North Carolina. I am a second-grade teacher, a lover of kiddos and furry creatures. I enjoy devouring cupcakes along with many other foods. I am currently working on my MAE.
You’ll read more about my personal experiences with Ocular Melanoma as you read through past, present, and future blog post. But here is some background knowledge on OM to fill you in..
“Perhaps you’ve heard of melanoma. It develops from the cells that produce the dark-colored pigment melanin, which is responsible for our skin’s coloring. These cells, called melanocytes, are found in other places in our bodies, too: our hair, the lining of our internal organs, and our eyes. So while most melanomas do form on the skin, it is possible for a melanoma to form elsewhere. When it forms in the eye, it’s known as ocular melanoma or, more specifically, uveal melanoma.
OM is much rarer than skin melanoma and behaves quite differently. There are other types of eye cancers, but OM is the most common in adults and the most dangerous. It’s a potentially lethal disease which many people die from, especially when it spreads to the liver, a complication in about half of people diagnosed with this disease.
No one knows for sure why OM tumors form but there is heightened prevalence amongst fair-skinned and blue-eyed individuals. Originally, excessive exposure to sunlight was thought to be a key risk factor but no study has proven a direct linkage to the development of OM tumors. ”