Eye lens capture light from outer environment and retina is mainly responsible for converting this light into neural signals which a brain can understand. Brain identifies the type of signal and enables an individual to see the world. Retinoblastoma is a cancer of eye that emerges from abnormalities in retina cells and surrounding tissues. It adversely affects healthy cells and accelerates the growth of malignant cells in retina. Retinoblastoma is most commonly observed in kids that are below age category of six years. It may damage eyes to a large extent and eventually lead to complete loss of vision. It clearly indicates that early treatment of this cancer is extremely crucial. Parents must visit a pediatric oncologist immediately to help save their beloved children from serious complications.
The following list conveys some major signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma.
White Colored Pupil – A white colored dot in center of eye known as pupil is the most common indication of retinoblastoma. Parents must contact a doctor right away on observing such sign.
Lazy Eye Condition – Child’s eye may appear as if they are looking at different directions at same instant of time. This condition is termed as lazy eye condition. It is most common symptom of retinoblastoma.
Vision Problems – Child affected with retinoblastoma may encounter vision problems such as blurred vision or partial loss of vision.
Eye Redness and Swelling – Parents should visit a pediatric doctor if they observe redness and swelling around child’s eye for more than a week.
There are no known causes of retinoblastoma. However, healthcare professionals believe that it may occur due to genetic mutation of cells in retina.
Parents should look out for a well-experienced pediatric eye specialist to increase the possibility of successful results following medical treatment of their child. Respective eye specialist may advise the below tests to identify the underlying eye condition.
Eye Evaluation – Doctors may ask parents regarding the symptoms that their children are experiencing. They may also request them to reveal child’s medical history for a thorough eye inspection. Parents should frankly reveal everything to doctor. It will considerably help in diagnosis procedure.
Imaging Tests – Children may have to undergo imaging procedures like MRI scan or a CT scan. These techniques help in generating precise images of retina and nearby cells or tissues which help a doctor to see whether any abnormality is present or not. Parents need not worry because computed tomography (CT scan), as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) both, are painless procedures. In addition to this, doctors take various measures that ensure safety of children.
Retinoblastoma is mainly classified into two stages namely intraocular retinoblastoma and extraocular retinoblastoma.
Intraocular retinoblastoma – It signifies primary stage where cancer has not reached beyond eye of children. Depending on dimensions of tumor, it is further classified into following five sub-groups.
Extraocular Retinoblastoma – It refers to an advanced stage of eye cancer where it has spread beyond eye of children. Apart from eye, unusual cells may metastasize and affect other body organs.
Treatment for retinoblastoma will vary according to their stage and size. Surgeons will analyze diagnosis report of children and decide most beneficial treatment method.
Treatments for Small-Sized Tumors – The following treatments can effectively deal with small-sized retinoblastoma tumors.
Treatments for Large-Sized Tumors – The given list describes major treatment options for large-sized retinoblastoma tumors.
The given points describe common risks and complications associated with retinoblastoma treatment.
Parents must stay in touch with doctors and attend follow-up care sessions to minimize the chances of such complications.
Recovery following retinoblastoma treatment will be based on various factors such as stage of cancer, type of treatment, child’s overall health, and postoperative care. Parents will have to stay extremely careful and follow each and every instruction of respective doctors. They should encourage children to eat only nutritious food. In addition to this, they should give them prescribed medicines on time and take them to hospital for follow-up meetings. These guidelines will significantly help their children to recover smoothly.
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