Whatcauses retinoblastoma?

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 stop growing. However, in rare cases, one or more cells continue to grow and form a cancer called retinoblastoma.

In about 4 out of 10 (40%) of cases, retinoblastoma is caused by a faulty gene, which often affects both eyes (bilateral). The faulty genemay be inherited from a parent, or a change to the gene (mutation) may occur at an early stage of the child's development in the womb.

It's not known what causes the remaining 60% of retinoblastoma cases. In these cases, there's no faulty gene and only one eye is affected (unilateral).

Around 50 to 60 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma in the UK each year.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018