The eyelids are comprised of several types of tissue including skin on the outside and a soft, moist inner lining similar to the interior of the mouth. Due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental insults, the eyelids are subject to tumours both benign (not cancerous) and malignant (cancerous). There are several common types of tumours including nevus, papilloma, cysts, basal cell carcinoma and sebaceous gland carcinoma.
As these tumours grow, they may interfere with the eyelids’ function and can do harm to the eye. As with any tumour, prompt medical attention is recommended since early detection and treatment improves the chances of successful treatment. A biopsy is typically performed. During the biopsy, a small portion of the tumour is removed for analysis. In most cases, surgical removal of the tumour is desirable.