Retinoblastoma (eye cancer in children)
Your child will be treated by a specialist retinoblastoma team at either the Royal London Hospital or Birmingham Children's Hospital.
However, if your child needschemotherapy, it will usually be carried out at a local children's cancer centre and overseen by the retinoblastoma team at one of the two specialist hospitals.
The recommendedtreatment for retinoblastoma will depend on the stage of the tumour which can either be:
Most cases of retinoblastoma (9 out 10) are detected early and successfully treated before the cancer spreads outside the eyeball.
If the cancer has spread beyond the eye it will be more difficult to treat. However, this is rare as the condition is usually identified well before it reaches this stage.
Depending on the size and position of the tumour, your child's specialist will be able to accurately stage the cancer into one of a number of categories (A to E).
Visit the American Cancer Society to readmore abouthow retinoblastoma is staged.
There are two possible treatment options for treating small tumours contained within the eye. These are:
These treatments are carried out under general anaesthetic, so your child will be unconscious and won't feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. In some cases, chemotherapy (see below) may be needed before or after these treatments.
Larger tumours will be treated with one or a combination of the following treatments:
You can find out more about artificial eyes from the National Artificial Eye Service.
Your child's treatment team will discuss any possible side effects of treatment with you. Different treatments have different side effects.
Sight lossis one of the biggest worries for parents. Your child's treatment team will do everything they can to avoid your child losing their sight. If your child needs to have one of their eyes removed, the sight in their other eye won't be affectedas long as there are no tumours in the important areas for seeing in that eye.
Children who lose sight in one eye are usually able to adapt very quickly to using their other eye, without it affecting their home and school life. If both eyes are affected by retinoblastoma, your child will probably have some degree of sight loss, and they may need support either within a mainstream or specialist school.
The UK-based retinoblastoma charity, the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), has more information about theside effects of treatment for retinoblastoma.
Retinoblastoma requires a long period of follow-up tests, which will initially be carried out at one of the specialist retinoblastoma centres. After a period of treatment and observation, the tests will usually take place at your local eye department.
Read about retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer that affects young children. Information about symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, plus help and support.
Signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma include: an unusual white reflectionin thepupil this may be apparentin photos where only the healthy eye appears red from the flash, or you may notice itin a dark
Retinoblastoma is cancer of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.During the early stages of a baby's development, retinal eye cells grow very quickly and then st
Your GP will carry out a'red reflex test' in a darkened roomusing an ophthalmoscope (a magnifyinginstrument witha light at one end).When a light is shone into your child's eyes, your GP will see a red
Your child will be treated by a specialist retinoblastoma team at either the Royal London Hospital or Birmingham Children's Hospital.However, if your child needschemotherapy, it will usually be carrie
If you're expecting a baby and you had retinoblastoma yourself as a child, or you have a family history of retinoblastoma, it's important to tell your GP or midwife.This is because in some cases retin
The specialist teams at the retinoblastoma centres at The Royal London Hospital and Birmingham Children's Hospital have a wealth of knowledge about retinoblastoma. You can discuss any worries or conce