Aim: To evaluate the clinical features, treatment results, and recurrence rates in patients with either intraepithelial or invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of 60 cases (22 conjunctival intraepithelial and 38 invasive squamous cell carcinomas) to determine patterns of clinical presentation, aetiological factors, and treatment results. The mean patient age was 64 years old. 70% of the patients were male. Patients were treated with a variety of therapies, depending on the degree of tumour involvement; most cases were treated with frozen section controlled excision and adjunctive cryotherapy. Modified eye wall resection or enucleation was done for intraocular invasion and exenteration was done for orbital involvement.
Results: Red eye (68%) and ocular irritation (57%) were the most common presenting symptoms. 44% of the patients had other eye findings consistent with extensive solar exposure. 20% of the patients had a history of malignant skin tumours. Visceral malignancies developed in 8%. Scleral involvement was present in 14 (37%), intraocular involvement in five (13%), and orbital invasion in four (11%) cases with invasive squamous cell carcinoma. After a mean follow up of 56 months (18-226 months) the rate of new or recurrent tumours was 4.5% for intraepithelial squamous carcinoma and 5.3% for invasive squamous cell carcinoma. No patient developed metastases or tumour related deaths.
Conclusion: Excision with intraoperative control of the surgical margins and adjunctive cryotherapy results in good tumour control rates.