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The 118th Boston Marathon is less than a month away – set for April 21, 2014. Dermatology & Skin Health is excited to support their very own Physician Assistant, Michelle Roy, who will be running in this year's event as a member of team Running for Cover, a group of runners representing the Melanoma Foundation of New England (

As part of an educational component of her training for the big day, Michelle has been sharing facts with us about melanoma, and here is one some of her friends have never heard of: ocular melanoma.

Michelle says, “During each skin exam, I take the time to discuss with patients the risk of ocular melanoma..
yes, that is right.. melanoma can happen in the eye.
Ocular melanoma accounts for 5 to 12 percent of all melanoma cases.

Michelle refers us to the following link, for the necessary facts:

From the Melanoma Research Foundation:

Ocular melanoma, also known as uveal melanoma or choroidal melanoma, is usually found in the part of the eye called the uvea, which is composed of:

  • The iris - the colored part of the eye that opens and closes to change the amount of light that enters the eye.
  • The ciliary body - a muscle in the eye that changes the shape of the lens so the eye can focus.
  • The choroid - a layer of tissue that is in the back of the eye, next to the retina, that makes a picture. Choroidal melanomas are the most common type of ocular melanoma.

And here are some ocular melanoma facts from the Melanoma Research Foundation:

  • Ocular melanoma is not thought to be related to sun exposure
  • Approximately 2,000 Americans are diagnosed with ocular melanoma each year
  • Eye tumors should be treated by an ophthalmologist who specializes in treating ocular melanoma
  • Ocular melanoma spreads to other organs in the body in abouthalf of all cases
  • When ocular melanoma spreads, it most commonly spreads to the liver

For more information, visit

Learn more about Michelle's run to raise awareness about melanoma.
Please go to:

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