Ralph McMurray of Suffolk, England, was 66 years old when he had his first ever eye examination.
It revealed he had eye cancer.
According to a local news report, the examining optometrist found a detached retina and referred McMurray to the West Suffolk Hospital for further tests, which revealed a large tumor in his eye – an ocular melanoma. Physicians at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London removed McMurray’s eye just weeks later due to the size of the tumor.
“I am so glad I went for that eye test as the cancer would have only got worse and I may not even be here now,” said McMurray. “I am now determined to do as much as I can to raise awareness of the importance of having regular eye tests… In cases such as mine early diagnosis is crucial and the tumor would have been spotted much sooner had I been having regular eye examinations.”
McMurray’s experience underscores the importance of routine eye exams and the importance of all eye care professionals learning Dr. Fingers’ MOST mnemonic (Melanoma = Orange pigment, Subretinal Fluid, Thickness of 2 or more millimeters) to effectively smaller intraocular melanomas.
The earlier a tumor is detected, the more likely vision- and life-saving treatments can be employed.
McMurray was fortunate the cancer was found, even though it had already advanced. Prompt treatment after diagnosis likely saved his life.
For UK nationals considering a second opinion or treatment in the United States, The New York Eye Cancer Center offers special programs to assist international patients. Click here to learn more.