Ignorance about Eye Cancer in Children
Nobody wants to suffer cancer, but what can be worse, is having an infant child who did.
Driven by ignorance, many parents in India don’t start timely treatment for a killer form of eye cancer called retinoblastoma, detected in 1,500-2,000 children a year. In most cases, the medical advice of removing the afflicted eye to save the child’s life proves the trigger for parents abandoning treatment.
Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that usually develops in early childhood, typically before the age of 5. The life-threatening cancer develops in the retina, which is the specialized light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that detects light and color.
The disease is often curable when it is diagnosed early. The cure rates are as high as 95 percent in developed countries. However, if not treated promptly, the cancer can spread beyond the eye to other parts of the body. This advanced form of retinoblastoma can be life-threatening.
This form of cancer has affected thousands of young children; whose mothers could have played a key role in early detection.
A white glow or cat’s eye is often the most common symptom. It can be caught through simple flash photography.
Timely intervention must be stressed on for effective results as the disease develops and spreads rapidly… Retinoblastoma’s advanced form can cause not just loss of vision, but even loss of life.
The treatment depends on how advanced the tumor is. If retinoblastoma is detected early, it is possible to treat it and preserve the eye and vision with the help of laser and thermo-therapy treatment and chemotherapy.
Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy,
Director- Apollo Cancer Hospitals,