Eyelid Cancer Specialist

Chicago Oculofacial Consultants

Kenya M. Williams, MD

Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeon located in Chicago, IL & Evanston, IL

If you notice abnormal-looking skin on your eyelids, it’s important to get screened for eyelid cancer. At Chicago Oculofacial Consultants, Kenya Williams, MD, can diagnose and treat eyelid cancer at her multiple offices in the Millenium Park and Rush neighborhoods of Chicago and another in Evanston, Illinois. Call the nearest location to schedule an appointment or book one online today.

Eyelid Cancer Q & A

What is eyelid cancer?

Eyelid cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in tissues in your eyelids. Skin cancer commonly develops on the eyelids because of exposure to sunlight over time. 

Two common types of eyelid cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell skin cancer, are highly treatable - especially when detected early. Rare eyelid cancers include Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, and sebaceous cell carcinoma. 

Treatment with Dr. Williams can remove cancerous tissues to prevent complications.

What are the symptoms of eyelid cancer?

Common signs and symptoms of eyelid cancer include:

  • Red, brown, or black eyelid growths
  • Eyelid growths that spread
  • Nonhealing broken skin on eyelids
  • Ongoing eyelid infections
  • Changes in the appearance of eyelids
  • Eyelid thickening or swelling
  • Loss of eyelashes

See Dr. Williams at the first sign of eyelid cancer, as the earlier it’s detected, the better your treatment outcomes.

What are the risk factors for eyelid cancer?

While eyelid cancer can happen to anyone, some factors increase your risk of experiencing it. Examples include:

  • UV radiation
  • Sunlight
  • Tanning beds
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Fair skin
  • Being over age 50
  • History of sunburns
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • Certain genetic conditions
  • Weakened immune system

Ways to reduce the risk of eyelid cancer include wearing a hat or sunglasses to protect your face from the sun or using sunscreen or moisturizers with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

How does my doctor diagnose eyelid cancer?

Dr. Williams uses a variety of methods to diagnose eyelid cancer. 

She discusses your medical history and symptoms, examines your eyelids, and may recommend diagnostic tests. Tests might include biopsies, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, or high-resolution ultrasounds.

What are the treatments for eyelid cancer?

Treatment for eyelid cancer depends on the type of cancer you have and its stage. Dr. Williams offers Mohs surgery to remove cancerous tissues, layer by layer, to ensure no cancer cells get missed. She first numbs the treatment area to avoid discomfort. After removing cancerous tissue, Dr. Williams offers eyelid reconstruction to perfect your eyelid’s appearance.

If eyelid cancer has spread, she can refer you to a cancer specialist. You may need radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other types of cancer treatments.

If you notice a suspicious-looking lesion on your eyelid, schedule eyelid cancer screening with Chicago Oculofacial Consultants. Call the office or book an appointment online today.