Retinoblastoma in a nutshell.
Retinoblastoma isn’t the most straightforward of conditions to explain, given the different types of this cancer and different genetic scenarios. But here are some of the basics, more in-depth information about the condition is available on the website HERE. All CHECT’s medical information has been verified by the Retinoblastoma specialist teams at the Royal London and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals.
• Retinoblastoma is a fast-growing eye cancer which develops in the cells of the retina of babies and young children, usually under the age of six.
• Retinoblastoma has one of the best cure rates of all childhood cancers and there are a number of treatments available if detected early enough. In the UK about 98% of children survive Retinoblastoma.
• Around 70% of children with Retinoblastoma in one eye (unilateral) will need to have their eye removed to save their life, and children with both eyes affected may have a visual impairment for life.
• Retinoblastoma is rare, with around 50 cases diagnosed in the UK each year. In about 45% of cases, the condition is heritable and a person who has had this form of Retinoblastoma has a 50% chance of passing it on to their children.
What else do I need to know?
The signs of Retinoblastoma.
They are subtle and most children affected show no other signs of illness, so it’s really important to know what to look out for.
The six signs everyone should know:
1. A white reflection in the pupil
2. A squint, where one eye looks in or out
3. A red, sore or swollen eye without infection
4. A change in the colour of the iris
5. An absence of red eye in one pupil
6. Deterioration in vision
You may see one, or all, of these in an eye or a photo, but the important thing is to GET IT CHECKED OUT QUICKLY. A GP or Ophthalmology/eye department can do a ‘red reflex’ test to find out if there is anything wrong and they can refer you to see a specialist if needed. View further information on our website HERE.
Several other conditions can display the same symptoms so to rule out cancer get your child checked out.
CHECT works hard to raise awareness of these signs – find out more about our campaign work HERE.