All You Need To Know About Orbital Tumours: Diagnosis, Detection, Treatment

A sensitive-complicated organ like the eye and the socket may also develop a tumour- the orbital tumour. Know Diagnosis, Treatment & Management

Jigyasa Nagpal
Written by: Jigyasa NagpalPublished at: Jul 18, 2021Updated at: Jul 18, 2021
All You Need To Know About Orbital Tumours: Diagnosis, Detection, Treatment

Unlike common organ or blood tumours, some tumours and inflammations also occur behind and around the eye. Yet, they are similar to other tumours with abnormal tissue growth in the structures, only the location is the eye and around. To make it more clear, eye orbit include bones/ muscles around the eye or the nerves and blood vessels, from where this unwanted growth may rise. From this simple bulge to loss of vision, Orbital Cancer has very normal to serious symptoms.

Details of the diagnosis, treatment and management are shared by Dr. Amaresh S Bhaganagare, Consultant Neurosurgeon, HCG Cancer Hospital Bengaluru.

The Early Symptoms of Orbital Tumor

A normal bulge, also known as proptosis is where it generally begins. Just before this, a chronic pain may also be there. Other common symptoms include changes in vision, double vision. These could be accompanied with infections. SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ORBITAL TUMOR: 

  • Bulging of the eye
  • Pain and inflammation
  • Double vision
  • A droopy or swollen eyelid
  • Loss of Vision
  • Flattened eyeball
  • Feeling of pressure in the eye


Also Read: 6 Basic Tips To Prevent Cataract Eye Disease

Types of Orbital Tumors

Tumours begin in their benign stage, which metastasizes to become malignant. Cysts are very common that may or may not be indicative of tumours. Along with this, vascular lesions (arising from blood vessels), lymphomas, neurogenic tumours (arising from nerves), and secondary tumours. A very tiny tumour in a crammed region can cause major effects. Sometimes, in kids, the tumours are present by birth. Orbital tumours in the majority are benign, some malignancies are found in the case of retina- retinoblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, which could be seriously fatal. Eyes and orbit are already very complex and sensitive organs. Thus any complications can make the tumour case more difficult to diagnose and treat. As it is, cancers always are best treated when detected early.

Diagnosis of Orbital Tumors

Benign or cancerous/ malignant is dependent on how early the symptoms appear or the location and nature of the tumour. Sometimes, the doctor detects tumours through imaging of the head for other conditions, or it takes time to develop symptoms. In the case of an orbital tumour, the patients start developing double vision after the bulge in the eye, which is replaced by a larger tumour and deviates the axis of the eye. While optic nerve tumours result in vision loss

Imaging studies are mainly used for the tumour diagnosis of the orbit. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) techniques are commonly used in general, MRI being the preferred one for clearer images. Ultrasonographic examination of the orbit is also a helpful way despite the latest imaging studies. Commonly used techniques include:

  • Biopsy- examination of the tissue sample of patient to analyze the type of tumour present
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)- This is done to see the size and location of the tumour in order to be sure of the analysis. This technique uses a powerful magnet and radio waves. High-resolution images are obtained of the orbit in three dimensions, especially helpful for nonosseous lesions
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans- Creating images of the tumour through X-rays & computers to check the exact condition, location, size and abnormalities.
  • Angiography is still preferred for vascular lesions and arteriovenous malformations while Cerebral angiography finds use in pulsatile exophthalmos. 


Also Read: Experiencing Eye Twitching? Know Common Causes and Triggers of Eyelid Twitching

Treatment of Orbital Tumors

  • A lot of approaches, proficiency, surgical needs are required to deal with tumours, given the complexity in anatomy.
  • The neurosurgical team, along with the oculoplastic surgeon, are involved together to decide on the approaches to be undertaken. 
  • Use of surgical excision, radiation, chemotherapy or immunotherapy have to be considered to get optimum results of getting free of tumour.

With inputs from Dr Amaresh S Bhaganagare, Consultant Neurosurgeon, HCG Cancer Hospital Bengaluru

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