Children Retinoblastoma is a cancerous tumor that grows in the retina, a layer of nerve tissue in the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain.
A cancer of early childhood, retinoblastoma can affect following areas:
developing fetuses in the womb, as well as newborns, babies and toddlers
What are the signs Retinoblastoma:
A. When noticing that their child's pupil (the dark circular area in the middle of the iris, the colored part of the eye) appears whitish in bright light.
B.When Parents notice this effect in photographs. This happens because the pupil is translucent; so, retinal tumors that lie behind it may be noticeable.
While most of kids who develop retinoblastoma are born with it, most are not diagnosed at birth. The average age at diagnosis is between 12-18 months.
When diagnosed, most kids are treated successfully and able to preserve their sight while maintaining good vision.
What are the causes of Children Retinoblastoma?
Like other forms of cancer, there is a genetic component to retinoblastoma. The 40 % of Kids who carry the genetic mutation (from either a parent or grandparent)
The remainder of 60% kids who develop the condition, have no family history of the disease, and will usually get it in just one eye, with much less risk of developing retinoblastoma in the other eye. This is called unilateral retinoblastoma.
Kids with hereditary retinoblastoma in one eye could develop it later in the other eye, so regular checkups of the healthy eye should be done every 2-4 months for at least 28 months. After treatment is completed, follow-up exams should continue until a child is 5 years old.
Signs and Symptoms
A cloudy white pupil, which might look silvery white or yellow in bright light, is often the first sign of retinoblastoma. This is called leukocoria, or "cat's eye reflex." Other symptoms include:
· poorly aligned or "wandering" eye, known as strabismus
· reddish pupil, often with pain
· larger-than-normal pupil
· different-colored irises
· poor vision or decreased vision
Many of these symptoms are common side effects of other eye conditions, and don't necessarily mean a child has retinoblastoma. If your child has any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.