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Retinoblastoma: What You Need to Know

One of the most reported forms of cancer that affects children below the age of 2 is retinoblastoma. This is caused when the retinoblasts of the eyes begin to grow or change beyond what the body can control and form tumors. This then results in retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma can be treated like most forms of cancer if it is caught early before it progresses. There is also a strong likelihood that it is passed from genes and so it is important to request for a test from an optometrist in Winter Park if someone in your family has had this cancer before.

Types of Retinoblastoma

There are two types of retinoblastoma that can affect children, and this depends on where the mutation occurs on the retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1) or if it is a genetic condition.

Early diagnosis

Retinoblastoma is best treated when it is identified early enough. This can be done through eye examination, blood testing and MRI’s. MRIs are especially useful when the family already has a history of retinoblastoma and so the children already have a high risk of having the cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Retinoblastoma

There are many things that can indicate that a child may be suffering from retinoblastoma. Most of these signs and symptoms can be caught by an optometrist in Winter Park during an eye examination or as a follow up on complaints of the physical symptoms. Here are some common signs that could indicate that a child may be suffering from retinoblastoma:

Treatment of retinoblastoma

There are many ways to treat retinoblastoma and the preferred method depends on which stage the cancer is in before it was detected. We will be looking at some of these methods and the merits of each one:

Remission and risk of recurrence

When every trace of retinoblastoma in a child’s eye is removed and cannot be seen in tests, then the cancer is said to be in remission. This could be a temporary situation or a permanent one. While there is always a fear that the retinoblastoma could reoccur, optometrists in Winter Park always advise patients to understand all the options and possibilities so that they and their parents are well-prepared in the event of the cancer returning.

A good thing to note is that most of the treatment methods discussed for retinoblastomas are all successful with a large percentage of children. In extreme circumstances, the retinoblastoma may be beyond treatment and could become terminal. In this case, there will be a lot of effort in ensuring that the child is as comfortable as possible and pain-free for the rest of the life.

It is important to speak to your optometrist in Winter Park about checking for retinoblastoma if you see any of the signs in your children or you have questions that you want answers to. Call us today on (407) 672-2020 or fill out a contact form for a free appointment.

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