What is retinoblastoma?
Retinoblastoma is a form of cancer that begins in the retina. It typically affects children, but in rare cases affects adults. It has the potential to affect one or both eyes.
What are the symptoms of retinoblastoma?
Signs and symptoms include:
- Redness in the eye
- Swelling of the eye
- A white color in the pupil when light is shone into it
- Eyes that seem to be looking in different directions
This cancer can spread to other parts of the eye and other parts of the body. It also puts children at a higher risk of other cancers.
What causes retinoblastoma?
This cancer occurs when nerve cells in the eyes mutate, then grow and multiply into a tumor. Medical professionals are unsure as to why this happens in the majority of cases. In some, parents pass a genetic mutation down to their children that causes the cancer. In these cases, it is inherited in an autosomal dominant form, affects children at a younger age, and affects both eyes.
How is retinoblastoma diagnosed?
The tests that are used to diagnose retinoblastoma include eye exams, CT scans, and MRIs. Specialists may need to be called in to properly diagnose this cancer, such as an oncologist.
What are the treatments for retinoblastoma?
There are multiple treatment options for this cancer, all depending on the size, location, and spread of the cancer, along with the health and age of the patient. Options include chemotherapy, laser therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, cold treatments, and clinical trials.