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Tear Gland (Lacrimal) Tumors

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Malignant epithelial tumors of the lacrimal (tear) gland make up just two percent of tumors of the eye socket. Adenoid cystic carcinoma (AdCC) are more frequently diagnosed (nearly 50 percent of cancerous lacrimal gland tumors).

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Multidisciplinary care teams. Your cancer is assessed and treated by a variety of eye professionals. This includes ophthalmologists, dermatologists, ocular and radiation oncologists, and pathologists. You'll receive highly personalized care that ensures your best possible results.

Pre-surgical chemotherapy options. Intra-arterial chemotherapy (IACC), provided prior to surgery, was pioneered at Sylvester and appears to improve overall survival and decrease disease recurrence.

Top-ranked eye prosthesis (artificial replacement) options. If the eyeball must be removed to cure cancer, a prosthetic eye improves your appearance and protects the space and cells behind your eye. The prosthesis is custom designed to match the iris and pupil of your other eye so you can have more confidence and lifetime health after treatment.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is the top-rated facility in the country for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye, according to U.S. News & World Report. When you choose us for your eye care, you will receive the best care in the nation in a compassionate setting.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments


Treatment for lacrimal (tear gland) cancers may involve a combination of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery.

  • Chemotherapy

    Neoadjuvant (prior to surgery) intra-arterial chemotherapy (IACC) seems to improve survival and decrease cancer recurrence. A catheter is threaded into the groin and up to the lacrimal artery where the chemotherapy is injected. This helps prevent systemic side effects.

  • Immunotherapy or Biologic Therapy

    Also called biologic therapy, immunotherapy boosts the body's natural defenses to fight the tumor. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore your immune system function. Rituximab is the most common immunotherapy used in treating lacrimal gland tumors.

  • Exenteration

    For more advanced disease, the surgeon removes the eye and eyelid, fat, nerves, and muscle found in the eye socket area. You can be fitted for a customized artificial eye (prosthesis) after the surgery. Our experts will match the size and color to the other eye.

Tests 


During an eye exam, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and may check your vision and eye movements with an indirect ophthalmoscope (an instrument with a light and a small magnifying lens). 

Imaging tests used for diagnosing lacrimal tumors can include:

  • Ultrasound 

    This test is usually done to determine the size, shape, and location of the tumor. Sylvester has state-of-the-art ultrasound machines with dedicated highly trained ultrasound technicians. Working with Bascom Palmer eye experts, they produce fast, accurate diagnostic results.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

    An MRI of the head allows us to see inside the eye and other tissues.

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan

    PET scans help us determine if the tumor has spread to other areas of the eye or body.

  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

    X-rays take a series of pictures of the inside of your eye and surrounding structures. These images are then combined by a computer, giving clear 3-D images of the area.

  • Biopsy

    Symptoms and tests might suggest you have a lacrimal tumor, but a biopsy is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis. An ophthalmologist often will perform a biopsy to remove cells from your tear gland. The cells in the biopsy sample are sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope and tested for signs of cancer.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care