SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA OF CONJUCTIVA

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the conjunctiva is a cancer on the surface of the eye that tends to occur in older
people (average age of diagnosis is 60 years), and young adults (30-40 years) with HIV/AIDS.

Clinical features

  • Eye irritation, discomfort or foreign body sensation
  • Red eye
  • Growth/tumour on eyeball that may exhibit the following features:
    • Leucoplakic (white), flesh-coloured or red patch
    • Rounded, elevated growth with a gel-like appearance
    • Large dilated blood vessels leading to the tumour
    • In early disease, the tumour often appears in the bulbar conjunctiva nasally, temporally or at the limbus

NB: Squamous cell carcinoma should be suspected in cases of chronic conjunctivitis that lasts longer than 3 months.

Investigations

  • Excision (total) biopsy for histopathological examination

Differential diagnosis

  • Pterygium, solar keratosis, pinguecula

Management

  • Refer patient to ophalmologist and eventually to cancer treatment center