Eyelid Tumor

According to etaizhou.info, the term eyelid tumor or eyelid tumor includes a whole range of skin tumors on the upper or lower lid of the eye. These tumors can be benign or malignant.

Eyelid Tumor

What is eyelid tumor?

Eyelid tumors are tumors on the eyelid. Benign eyelid tumors are usually warts, skin sponges or fatty deposits.

Malignant eyelid tumors are mostly basal cell carcinomas, also called basal cell carcinoma. This is a particularly aggressive, fast-growing tumor that can also affect other areas of the face (such as the nose or the pinna).

More than 90 percent of all eyelid tumors are basal cell carcinomas. The remaining ten percent are sebaceous gland carcinomas, melanomas (“black skin cancer”) or squamous cell carcinomas.

Eyelid tumors can affect people of all ages. It is particularly common in people over the age of 60. However, in recent years doctors have increasingly found eyelid tumors in younger patients. Lid tumors occur particularly frequently on the inner corner of the eyelid and on the lower lid.


The main cause of an eyelid tumor is sun exposure. The sun’s UV radiation favors the development of basal cell carcinomas and other skin tumors.

Of course, frequent solarium visits also play a role in the development of eyelid tumors. Heredity can also be a cause, especially in black skin cancer.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

A lid tumor initially causes tactile or visible skin changes on the eyelid. Lumps or discoloration, such as black or brown spots that are painful to the touch, may appear in the area of ​​the affected eye. The eyelid tumors often develop into malignant tumors over time. They can continue to grow and significantly impair vision. The skin changes can cause pain or be completely painless.

If they spread to the tear duct, continuous tears may develop. Eyelashes often fall out or hardening occurs on the eyelid. Benign eyelid tumors can develop within a few weeks and resolve spontaneously within a few months. In extreme cases, malignant eyelid tumors can lead to the loss of the eye.

Since they are usually only discovered in the late stages due to their insidious growth, permanent damage to the eye has often developed. The person concerned then suffers from chronic visual disorders, which can be an enormous burden. There is also a risk of other tumors forming in other parts of the body. Metastasis is life – threatening because internal and external organs can be affected. As a result, a variety of complaints can occur, which always depend on the location of the metastases.

Diagnosis & History

The eyelid tumor is usually diagnosed by the ophthalmologist or dermatologist based on the changed appearance of the eyelid. So he makes a visual diagnosis.

A tissue biopsy, i.e. a tissue removal, secures the diagnosis. Since there are different types of eyelid tumors, the symptoms can also be different. A lid tumor does not necessarily have to affect the patient. Malignant cancerous growths on the eyelid continue to grow. Benign eyelid tumors, on the other hand, can develop within a few weeks and also disappear again quite spontaneously.

Malignant eyelid tumors often change over time. Nodules or discoloration of the eyelid (eg brown or black spots) may appear. The skin changes on the eyelid can cause pain, but they don’t have to. In addition to nodule formation, the skin changes can also affect other structures of the eye and grow into the conjunctiva or the tear duct. Eyelashes can also fall out.

Malignant eyelid tumors can lead to loss of the eye. The disease then often progresses insidiously and slowly at first, and the first symptoms are often rather uncharacteristic and are only discovered at a late stage. Often, the doctor initially suspects an inflammation or a rash on the eye.

As with most cancers, the chance of recovery is largely dependent on the tumor being discovered and treated as early as possible. If the malignant eyelid tumor can be completely removed, the prognosis is very good. However, further skin changes can occur in the subsequent period, so that consistent, regular follow-up checks are absolutely necessary. If the eyelid tumor has already spread, i.e. metastases are already present in the body, the chances of recovery decrease.


Patients suffer from various complaints as a result of eyelid tumors. As a rule, this leads to clearly visible changes that occur directly on the skin. It is not uncommon for patients to feel unattractive as a result of these changes and suffer from reduced self-esteem or inferiority complexes. It can also lead to psychological problems and even depression.

It is not uncommon for eyelid tumors to cause eyelashes to fall out, which also has a very negative effect on your appearance. The eyelids can become inflamed, which can lead to severe pain. The patient’s entire field of vision is also restricted by the eyelid tumor, resulting in reduced and, above all, disturbed vision. If the tumor spreads, it can also cause tumors in other areas of the body.

This significantly reduces the life expectancy of the patient. Eyelid tumors can usually be surgically removed. There are no particular complications. However, even after the removal, patients still need chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The further course of this disease therefore depends heavily on the severity of the tumor.

When should you go to the doctor?

If palpable or visible skin changes are noticed, the cause of which is unknown, medical advice is required in any case. Brown or black spots should be clarified as well as skin tumours, nodules or changes in the skin structure. At the latest when the skin changes become larger and spread to the surrounding regions, this must be clarified by a doctor. The doctor can determine or rule out the eyelid tumor and initiate the further treatment steps.

If left untreated, eyelid tumors can lead to loss of the eye. Therefore, symptoms should be carefully monitored and reported to a doctor. People who have a genetic predisposition, who have been exposed to X-ray radiation or who have already suffered from skin cancer belong to the risk groups. You should discuss the symptoms described with your family doctor immediately. If necessary, the doctor can consult other specialists, such as a dermatologist, an internist and an ophthalmologist. If the physical symptoms are accompanied by mental problems, a therapeutic consultation can be useful.

Treatment & Therapy

A benign eyelid tumor usually requires cosmetic therapy if it does not disappear on its own. Surgery is also necessary if the benign eyelid tumor becomes too large.

Malignant eyelid tumors usually have to be treated surgically. A surgeon cuts out the tumor from the eyelid. Depending on the type of tumor, the doctor may also order radiation therapy or laser treatment.

Another therapy option is cryotherapy, in which the affected skin area is frozen. Chemotherapy may also be necessary.

The doctor must determine the best type of treatment, and it depends not only on the type of tumour, but also on its location, the extent to which it has spread and the age of the patient.

Outlook & Forecast

Basically, a distinction must be made between a benign and malignant eyelid tumor. Senior citizens over the age of 60 are particularly affected. The prognosis for the benign eyelid tumor is very favorable. In many cases, it even goes away on its own. If, on the other hand, it becomes too large, a surgical intervention is usually necessary. Small cosmetic corrections may then be indicated.

The situation is different with a malignant tumor. The prospect of healing depends on three factors: the stage at diagnosis, the location and the type. If a diagnosis is made at an early stage and therapy is immediately followed, a positive prognosis can be assumed. Even the complete removal of a tumor by surgery leads to a cure.

The successful therapy of a lid tumor does not end the treatment. Because there is a risk that skin changes will encourage new growth. This is known from birthmarks. Therefore, once sick, follow-up examinations should definitely be taken. A favorable long-term prognosis can only be achieved with regular checks. In this way, physicians can intervene immediately at an early stage and make optimal use of the available options.


The best prevention is to avoid intense exposure to the sun. Sunburn in particular causes massive damage to the skin and has been proven to promote the development of skin cancer, including eyelid tumors.

The same applies to the improper and too frequent use of solariums and sunbeds. The use of sunscreen creams with a sufficiently high sun protection factor is essential. Regular examination of the skin for changes by a dermatologist is the best way to detect a lid tumor early on.


Those affected by eyelid tumors suffer from various complications. There are significant changes in the facial skin of those affected. This often results in an inferiority complex or reduced self-esteem. Those affected do not feel beautiful because the eyelid tumor is on the face and therefore visible to everyone. This usually results in severe depression or other mental illnesses.

Sometimes it can be helpful to manage the follow-up treatment with the support of a psychologist. This can take away anxiety and help focus on the recovery process and make managing the illness easier. Since those affected are often dependent on chemotherapy, the aftercare is to alleviate the unpleasant side effects and to maintain the quality of life as much as possible. This includes support from friends and family. Since the course always depends on the severity of the disease, the aftercare is also very individual.

You can do that yourself

The human eye should always be adequately protected from direct sunlight. By wearing sunglasses with UV protection and hats, less UV radiation reaches the eye and the surrounding skin areas. This has a positive effect on skin function and prevents the formation of eyelid tumors. Visitors to tanning beds are well advised to refrain from doing so altogether. If you still stay in a solarium, the eye area must be well covered.

Patients with an eye tumor should contact a doctor as soon as possible, as in the majority of cases the tumor is malignant and must be removed. The self-responsible removal of ulcers, knots or similar skin changes on the eye is not permitted. Otherwise, the state of health would deteriorate significantly and the risk of the cancer cells spreading increases.

The patient should also refrain from using cosmetic products on the face during the period of medical treatment. These also irritate the skin and can lead to open wounds. Since germs can get into the organism via the wounds, there is a risk of further diseases. Itching or chafing of the eyes should also be avoided in order not to take unnecessary risks. On the other hand, it is helpful to avoid bright light.