The incidence of uveal melanoma type of eye cancer seems common in people with green/hazel iris colour. A study has shown that the greater risk of eye cancer in light-coloured eyes mostly depends upon the type and ratio of the melanin. This study suggests light-coloured eyes have less eumelanin in melanin-producing cells and carry more pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for brown colour and pheomelanin gives light colour to the eye.
The ultraviolet rays do not reach where uveal melanoma usually arises, that is the back of the eye. But visible light can penetrate the eye to reach the back of the eye. Pheomelanin can produce a toxic response to this light that can damage DNA within the melanin-producing cells to induce eye cancer.
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