Eyelid tumours

The most common type of skin cancer of the eyelids (and elsewhere) is a basal cell carcinoma (BCC or “rodent ulcer”). This usually grows very slowly, over months and years, often without symptoms, and may be mistaken for a simple cyst or mole. This type of tumour does not spread elsewhere, but can gradually enlarge to distort and destroy the normal eyelid structure, affecting its protective function. Development of BCCs and other eyelid skin cancers is associated with a history of long-term exposure to sunlight and a pale skin type. Excision of an eyelid tumour, and any necessary eyelid reconstruction, may result in disturbance to eyelid structure and function. It is therefore ideally undertaken by a specialist oculoplastic surgeon who has the training and expertise in both ophthalmology and eyelid plastic surgery.

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