What is ocular oncology?

Just like in other parts of the body, eyes too, can develop tumors. The tumors may be benign or malignant, that is, they may stay localised in the eye, or spread outside. Eye tumors can threaten the eyesight, and even have serious effect on health and life. Ocular oncology is the speciality dealing with eye tumors.

Why should an eye surgeon practice ocular oncology? Aren’t they treated by cancer hospitals?

The eye is a unique structure – treatment of eye tumor has to be done, making sure the tumor is cured; at the same time, as much as possible, the structure and function of the eye is saved. The eye surgeon knows about the eye. The oncologist has knowledge of cancer. The ocular oncologist has knowledge of the eye as well as cancer; thus ocular oncologist is the best choice to plan treatment of an eye cancer. The work is a team effort, including the ocular oncologist, pathologist, medical oncologist for any chemotherapy, and radiation oncologist for radiation therapy.

How do we recognise eye tumor?

Most eye tumors are easily visible changes. They can be identified and recognised at an early stage. Treatment can be started early, and save the eye and life of the patient.

Ocular Surface Tumors

The tumors affecting the white/black part of the eyeball (the conjunctiva and cornea)


  • Dr. Harsha N
  • Dr. Himanshu Matalia
  • Dr. Roshmi Gupta
  • Dr. Yathish S

Eyelid and Orbital Tumors

The eyelid tumors appear as nodules or ulcers on the eyelid. Do consult your doctor for a nodule which is not improving with treatment. When any nodule is removed from the eyelid, a pathology testing is essential to identify whether it is a tumor.

Orbital tumors grow behind the eye, and can cause a bulging eye, double vision, or loss of vision. Usually a CT scan or MRI scan is required to identify presence of a tumor. Only a surgery followed by pathology testing can tell us what kind of tumor it is, and whether further testing anf treatment is necessary.


  • Dr. Gagan Dudeja
  • Dr. Roshmi Gupta

Intraocular Tumors and Retinoblastoma

These tumors grow inside the eye, and can present with decreased vision.


  • Dr. Roshmi Gupta

Retinoblastoma (Children with Eye Cancer)

Retinoblastoma is a life threatening eye cancer that affects children. India has the highest number of new cases in the World, owing to its large population. The treatment is both expensive and complicated. Our aim is to see that every child obtains the best available treatment and care. If appropriate treatment is provided in a timely manner, it will be possible to save the child’s life and have useful vision preserved. No child deserves to die blind for want of financial resources.

Narayana Nethralaya would like to see every child obtain the best treatment and ease the suffering caused to the child and family by this cancer. Our patients obtained co-ordinated care with the pediatric oncology team at Mazumdar – Shaw Cancer Center to provide chemotherapy, focal therapy trans pupillary thermotherapy, subtenons chemotherapy stereotactic radiation and RB1 gene mutation screening. Our team of oncologists, pediatric, retinal and oculoplasty specilists can ensure that every child gets a wide range treatment under one roof.

In collaboration with the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada) Narayana Nethralaya is in the process of developing various strategies for the early detection of retinoblastoma. Current genetic screening technologies allow us to detect the risk for developing the tumour even before a child is born. Determined to provide every access to treatment and a change of being cured of this dreaded cancer, Narayana Nethralaya provides the best treatment to children of underprivilaged parents at no cost.


RetCam images before and after chemotherapy.

Does your child have a white pupil? This could be a sign of eye cancer

Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that affects young children. It is the most common eye cancer in India, occurring in one in twenty thousand children. It is a very treatable cancer, with prompt treatment leading to the cure of more than ninety-five percent of affected children. With a lack of awareness and lack of access to proper treatment, the cancer is sometimes detected at a more advanced stage.

What are the signs of eye cancer in children?
In very early stages of the disease the eyes may look normal externally. Once the tumor grows, the child may have the most common signs of:

  • White, pearl like reflection from within the eye
  • Squinting of the eyes

Signs of advanced cancer

  • Large sized eye ball
  • Red, swollen and painful eye

Can this eye cancer be treated?
If the tumor is treated promptly, there is more than a 95% chance of cure. Once the cancer spreads outside the eye the cancer becomes a threat to life, especially when it spreads to the brain and other parts of the body. Tumors that are not large or life threatening can be treated by chemotherapy, cryotherapy and focal laser therapy. Large tumors may require removal of the affected eye. If it is detected very late the child may require surgery followed by sessions of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and radiotherapy.

Doctors of Ocular Oncology Service


Dr. Roshmi Gupta

@Narayana Health City

Dr. Gagan Dudeja

Doctors of Retinoblastoma Service


Dr.Roshmi Gupta

@Narayana Health City