Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that starts in the retina, the sensitive lining on the inside of the eye. Retinoblastoma most popularly influences young children, but can occasionally happen in adults.
The retina is made up of nerve tissue that senses light as retinoblastoma appears through the front of the eye. The retina forwards signals through the optic nerve to the brain, where these signals are interpreted as images. A rare form of eye cancer, retinoblastoma, is the most popular form of cancer influencing the eye in children. Retinoblastoma may happen in one or both eyes.
Symptoms of Retinoblastoma
Because retinoblastoma mostly influences infants and small children, symptoms of retinoblastoma are rare. Signs you may observe contain:
1) White color in the center circle of the eye when light is shone in the eye, like when taking a flash photograph
2) Eyes that come to be looking in different directions
3) Eye redness
4) Eye swelling
Retinoblastoma causes when nerve cells in the retina promote genetic mutations. These mutations make the cells to continue increasing and multiplying when healthy cells would die. This combining mass of cells forms a tumor. Retinoblastoma cells can invade further into the eye and nearby structures. Retinoblastoma causes can also expand to other parts of the body, including the brain and spine.
In the majority of cases, it is not clear what makes the genetic mutations that lead to retinoblastoma causes. However, children can inherit a genetic mutation from their parents.
Complications of Retinoblastoma
Children treated for retinoblastoma have a chance of cancer returning in and around the treated eye. For this reason, the child’s doctor will schedule follow-up exams to identify for recurrent retinoblastoma complications. The doctor may sketch a personalized follow-up test schedule for the child. In most cases, this will likely involve eye exams every few months for the first few years after retinoblastoma treatment ends.
Additionally, children with the inherited form of retinoblastoma have an enhanced risk of developing other types of cancers in any area of the body in the years after treatment. For this reason, children with inherited retinoblastoma complications may have daily exams to screen for other cancers.
Do an appointment with the child’s doctor if you watch any changes to your child’s eyes that concern you. Retinoblastoma is rare cancer, so the child’s doctor may explore other more popular eye conditions first.
If you have a family history of retinoblastoma, consult the pediatrician when the child should start daily eye tests to screen for retinoblastoma.
Diagnosis of Retinoblastoma
Tests and procedures used for the diagnosis of retinoblastoma include:
1) Eye test: The eye doctor will conduct an eye test to understand what is causing the child’s signs and symptoms. For a more thorough exam, the doctor may suggest using anesthetics to stay the child still.
2) Imaging test: Scans and other imaging tests can assist the child’s doctor in understanding if retinoblastoma has increased to influence other structures around the eye. Imaging tests may involve ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), among others.
3) Consult with other doctors: The child’s doctor may transfer you to other specialists, like a doctor who specializes in treating cancer (oncologist), a genetic counselor, or a surgeon.
The best treatments of the retinoblastoma based on the size and location of the tumor, whether cancer has expanded to parts other than the eye, the child’s overall health, and your own choices. The aim of the treatment of retinoblastoma is to cure cancer. When possible, the child’s doctor will also work to preserve the child’s vision.
2) Radiation therapy
3) Laser therapy
4) Cold treatments
Prevention of Retinoblastoma
In most cases, doctors do not confirm what causes retinoblastoma, so there is no proven way for the prevention of retinoblastoma disease.