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Eye Cancer: Lacrimal Sac/Duct Cancers

These eye cancers start in the tear drainage area in the inner and inferior area of the orbit. Cancers involving the lacrimal sac can cause excessive tearing, bloody tears, frequent nosebleeds or a mass in the inner bottom corner of the orbit just adjacent to the eye. The most common types of lacrimal sac cancer are:

Squamous cell carcinoma: As with squamous cell carcinomas in other locations, the mainstay treatment is surgery. At MD Anderson, lacrimal sac carcinomas are treated by a team including an orbital surgeon, head and neck surgeon, and plastic surgeon. Radiation therapy and specifically proton radiotherapy is used after surgery to decrease the likelihood of recurrence. Usually it is possible to preserve the eye, and the eye can be shielded during radiation therapy.

Transitional cell carcinoma:
This is the second most common epithelial cancer of the lacrimal sac. Symptoms may be excessive tearing, bloody tears, frequent nosebleeds or a mass in the inner bottom corner of the orbit. Treatment for transitional cell carcinoma of the lacrimal sac is similar to that for squamous cell carcinoma of the lacrimal sac.

Lacrimal sac lymphoma: These are treated similarly to lymphomas elsewhere in the orbit. A surgical biopsy is important to establish lymphoma type. Treatments may include radiation therapy, monoclonal antibody treatment or chemotherapy, depending on the type and stage of lymphoma.

If you have been diagnosed with eye cancer, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Latest eye cancer treatments, including specialized surgical techniques to remove cancer but save the eye, proton therapy, targeted therapies, advanced reconstructive surgery for eyelid and orbital cancer
  • Advanced diagnostic techniques including sentinel lymph node biopsy, ultrasound biomicroscopy, confocal biomicroscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Skilled, highly specialized eye surgeons and reconstructive surgeons who have dedicated many years of their career to exclusively treat cancer
  • We treat more eye cancers than most centers
  • Team approach to treating eye cancers
  • Clinical trials of leading-edge treatments for eye cancer

Eye Cancer Knowledge Center

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