Non-surgical treatments of primary, non-melanoma eyelid malignancies: a review

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2011 Jan;39(1):65-83; quiz 92-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2010.02422.x. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


The diagnosis and management of periocular cutaneous malignancies are essential components of an ophthalmologist's practice. Skin cancers comprise nearly one-third of newly diagnosed malignancies. Furthermore, the incidence of skin cancer appears to be increasing. Multiple treatment modalities exist for periocular cutaneous malignancy. Surgical extirpation, often with the combined expertise of a Mohs micrographic surgeon, is typically the first line therapy and is often curative in the periocular region, depending on a variety of factors, including tumour histology, specific location, depth of invasion and surgical technique. However, there are instances where a less invasive, non-surgical treatment option is warranted, including patients who are poor surgical risks or those with diffuse disease. The purpose of this article is to review the literature and describe the non-surgical treatment options, indications and efficacies for non-melanoma primary eyelid malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Sebaceous / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Sebaceous / therapy*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Cryosurgery
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Laser Therapy
  • Photochemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents