A tumor is an abnormal growth of any tissue or structure; it can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors often remain localized, while malignant tumors often spread into surrounding structures. A tumor can affect any part of the eye, such as the eye socket, eyeball, eye muscles, optic nerve, fat, and tissues. Sometimes tumors grow into the eye area, or tumors from other parts of the body travel to the eye.
The orbit is the bony socket that contains the eye, the muscles that move the eye, the optic nerve, and all the related nerves and blood vessels. The different kinds of orbital tumors include:
* optic nerve glioma, a benign tumor often associated with neurofibromatosis; * orbital meningioma, a tumor growing from the tissue covering the brain; * hemangioma, a benign tumor made up of blood vessels or vessel elements; * lymphangioma, a tumor made up of enlarged lymphatic vessels; * neurofibroma, a tumor made up nerve cells; * sarcoma, a malignant tumor growing from connective tissue; and
* metastasis, a malignant tumor that spreads to the orbit from other parts of the
Signs of an orbital tumor include bulging of the eyeball, visual loss, double vision, or pain.Once the tumor is discovered and imaged with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT scan), it is usually necessary to perform a biopsy or remove the tumor in order to diagnose the tumor. Some orbital tumors may require different or additional treatments. For malignant tumors including sarcomas and metastases, radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy are necessary.