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November 1, 2019updated 04 Nov 2019 4:29pm

Highest proportion of eye cancer cases are among adults ages 60 years and older in the 7MM

There were over 7,000 diagnosed incident cases of primary eye cancer among men and women ages 20 years and older in the seven major markets in 2018.

By GlobalData Healthcare

Eye cancer, also known as ocular melanoma, refers to any tumour that starts in any part of the eye. 

Primary eye cancer (cancer that originates in the eye) is rare and not as common as secondary eye cancer, which is cancer that has spread from other parts of the body. Symptoms can include poor or blurry vision, loss of peripheral vision, a growing dark spot on the iris, or shadows and flashes of light. Although the disease is rare and can occur at any age, older adults over the age of 50 years are at higher risk and are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. The average age of an eye cancer diagnosis is estimated to be approximately 55 years old. 

GlobalData epidemiologists estimate that there were over 7,000 diagnosed incident cases of primary eye cancer among men and women ages 20 years and older in the seven major markets (7MM: the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Japan) in 2018. 

Figure 1 presents diagnosed incident cases of primary eye cancer among men and women ages 20 years and older in the 7MM in 2018.

In the US, UK, and France, the highest proportion of diagnosed incident cases of eye cancer are among men and women ages 60 to 69 years. In Spain, Italy, and Germany, the largest proportion of diagnosed incident cases are among men and women ages 70 to 79 years. The largest proportion of diagnosed incident cases in Japan are among men and women ages 80 years and older.

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Although age is a significant risk factor for eye cancer, other risk factors include light eye colour, race, certain inherited skin disorders, exposure to ultraviolet light, and certain genetic mutations. Studies have shown that eye cancer is more common in whites, compared to other races. People with light-coloured eyes are also at higher risk of developing eye cancer, compared to people with darker eyes and skin. Because race and ethnicity are risk factors, it may explain the differences between the proportions of eye cancer among different age groups in the 7MM. 

In Japan, age may be a greater risk factor of eye cancer, compared to other markets where race and eye colour may be greater risk factors. Currently, eye cancer research focuses on genetics to gain a better understanding of how genes and mutations play a role, as well as developing new targeted treatments. 

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