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What is a retinoblastoma?
The retina is at the back of the eye and is crucial in allowing the eye to see light and detail. A retinoblastoma is an uncommon tumour or cancer of the retina, usually affecting children under the age 5 years. The first sign is when the pupil of the eye with retinoblastoma appears white in a flash photograph, with the normal eye pupil appearing red. However, this is not something to be relied upon and it is best to have any concerns looked at by your eyecare practitioner. Some children may have a squint as a result of a retinoblastoma.

Diagram of the eye
Diagram of the eye

How is a child checked for a retinoblastoma?
If a retinoblastoma is suspected, the child will be examined after having some special drops instilled in the eyes to make the pupils larger. This allows the examiner to get a good look at the back of the eyes. Additional testing will be required to determine the exact size and position of the retinoblastoma.

What is the treatment for a retinoblastoma?
The primary aim of the treatment is to get rid of the tumour. The secondary aim is to preserve the sight in the affected eye. There are several different treatment options and the specialists are best placed to discuss these.

Last words
At least 90% of children with retinoblastoma who are treated are cured.

Useful links: Visit Macmillan Cancer Support‘s page on retinoblastoma, or click here for a brilliant poem.

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