Group of rare eye cancer cases baffles experts. A group of patients with a rare type of eye cancer called ocular melanoma has researchers and epidemiologists stumped. The cancer, which normally occurs in about six in every 1 million individuals, has been identified in more than 50 individuals around two locations: Huntersville, North Carolina, and Auburn, Alabama. At least 38 of these individuals attended Auburn University between 1983 and 2001, according to a Facebook page for the group of patients. At least four have died of the disease.
Juleigh Green was the first person from the Auburn group to be diagnosed with the condition, in 1999. She had surgery to remove her left eye in 2000 and has not had any recurrences since, she says. “When I was diagnosed, I kept wanting to talk to someone who had been through this before and had done well,” Green said. “But it seemed like nobody had heard of this or had any connection with anyone who had this, and that’s when I realized how incredibly rare it was.”