Lump On Eyelid: Cancer Or Is It Something Else?

Lump on eyelid can be caused by a lot of factors. It is usually harmless but sometimes, it can be a sign of cancer.

Lump on eyelid

Lumps are often a cause for concern for most people. This is because lumps are often associated with major health issues or concerns such as certain types of cancers. Adding to the said distress, these lumps may show up in different parts of the body. One such kind of lump is one that forms on the eyelid. This can be physically problematic and aesthetically concerning for a lot of people especially as it is located in one of the most prominent parts of the human body. But is this lump on the eyelid cancer? Or is it something else? In this article, we look at what a lump on the eyelid is and if it can be cancer or if it is something totally different. Read on to find out more!

Lump on the eyelid: A General Overview

Eyelid lumps can lead to several symptoms such as pain, redness, and irritation.  A number of factors can lead to the development of a lump on the eyelid. The lesions are nothing to be worried about and are usually harmless. However, a lump on the eyelid can also be a sign of eyelid cancer. 

Cancer of the eyelids is actually a form of skin cancer. This is due to the fact that the eyelids contain one of the most sensitive and thinnest skins in the body.  This translates to the eyelids getting easily affected by their exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Around 5 to 10% of cancer of the skin happens on the eyelids and a large number of these cancers are either squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas which are cancers that are considered to be highly treatable.

Possible Symptoms of Eyelid Cancer

Some of the common symptoms of cancer of the eyelids include a spot that is flat with a surface that is scaly which can be tender or itchy, a skin patch that is brown or red and rough and scaly, a brown or skin-colored lesion that is flat and looks like a scar, scabbed, crusty, or bloody sore and a bump that is red, firm, waxy, shiny, and smooth.

Cancer-related lumps will usually be color black, flesh, brown, or red. These lumps may also start spreading, find it hard to properly heal, and have their appearance changed. More than 50% of cancers of the eyelids will develop on the eyelid’s lower portion. Some sites that are less common include the eye’s outer corner, the eye’s inner corner, eyebrow, and upper lid. 

Some of the other symptoms of the cancer of the eyelids include a stye that won’t properly get well, eyelids with chronic infections, eyelids that become swollen or thicker, and losing some eyelashes. 

Other Possible Causes of lump on the Eyelid

Aside from eyelid cancers, other possible causes of eyelid lumps include:


This skin condition is described as being red, small, and painful with a bump that will usually appear under the eyelid or near the eyelashes. Most of them are also the result of infection by bacteria. They can sometimes also affect the eyelid completely and can be swollen.  The discomfort brought about by stye can be addressed by having a warm compress placed on top of the eyelid for around five to ten minutes and taking pain relievers that are over the counter (OTC). Individuals are advised to consult their doctor if the stye does not get better or if becomes too painful.


This is a skin condition that can result in eyelids and eyelashes that are swollen. Other skin conditions and bacteria are often the main culprits behind blepharitis. People may opt to manage their symptoms by placing a warm compress on the affected area. Taking antibiotics can also be a treatment option. Simple washing of the eyelids and the eyelashes can already help in the management of blepharitis. The application of a warm compress can also ease symptoms and provide patients with some relief. 


This kind of lump is a bump that is swollen which can occur on the eyelid itself.  This occurs when the oil glands of the eyelids get clogged up. If this bump becomes bigger, it can affect the vision of the patient by pressing on the eye. It can be difficult to differentiate between a stye and chalazion. Chalazion does not commonly present with pain and can occur on the eyelid much further back. 

In addition, the chalazion will usually not lead to swelling of the entire eye. Most of the said lumps will get better on their own after a number of weeks. However, patients are advised to see their healthcare professional if the chalazion symptoms don’t go away or if they become much more intense.


This condition happens when there is a build-up of fat beneath the skin’s surface. A common type of xanthoma is called a xanthelasma palpebra and this forms on the eyelids. It may appear like a bump with borders that are defined and with bumps that are orangish or yellow. A patient can have a number of lumps and in a number of instances, these bumps may lead to the formation of clusters. Patients are advised to seek assistance from their doctor if bumps such as these develop as xanthelasma may also be an indicator of some other underlying health condition.

Possible Treatment Options for cancer of the eyelids

For eyelid cancer, the standard treatment will usually be a surgery where the surgeon will have the lesion on the eyelid removed and to have some reconstruction performed on the skin that is still remaining.

Two surgical techniques that are common are frozen section control and Mohs microsurgery and both are designed to have the tumors on the eyelid removed. Some of the other possible treatment options for eyelid cancer include:

  • Radiation- X-rays that are high energy are used to destroy the cells of the cancer
  • Targeted therapy or Chemo- Topical creams and eye drops may also be prescribed by the healthcare professional after surgery
  • Cryotherapy- To treat cancer, extreme cold is used.
Lump on eyelid

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