A Rare Eye Cancer Has Started to Appear in 2 States

May 1, 2018, 7:24 PM UTC

Three friends who attended Auburn University in Alabama have all developed the same rare eye cancer — ocular melanoma, an eye cancer that typically only affects six in every 1 million people.

If that wasn’t strange enough: One of the girls created a Facebook page, where she found 36 more people who have been diagnosed with the eye cancer — 18 in Huntersville, North Carolina, CBS News reports.

The two groups with the rare eye cancer appear to be “cancer clusters.” Researchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia are currently attempting to figure out what has caused the two cancer groupings. But the Alabama Department of Health told CBS that “it would be premature to determine that a cancer cluster exists in the area.”

Many of the patients affected by the rare eye cancer travel to the Philadelphia center for treatment, according to the report, simply because ocular melanoma is so rare that many doctors aren’t trained on how to treat it.

There is currently no cure for ocular melanoma, and treatment typically involves the removal of the eye affected by the cancer.


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