Retinoblastoma is a rare form of childhood cancer that develops in the eye. It develops from the retina, the most inner part of the eye. This tumor has the potential to be fatal by getting into the brain or spreading to other organs in the body. Retinoblastoma affects infants and young children. It affects 70-80% of one eye and only 20-30% in both. Retinoblastoma usually occurs out of the blue. The childs pediatrician would normally detect it within the first year, however there are cases that the pediatrician didn’t and the child lost one eye or both. One of the ways to detect this cancer is that it will look like there is a mirror in the eye, this is called, “cat eye”. Another way is if the eye is lazy or wondering around. If this is seen in the eye then an MRI will be giving to make sure that it is Retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma can be inherited or formed in a child that has gene that has been genetically mutated.
Once the child has been diagnosed then chemotherapy or radiation is started right away for the childs safety. There are several different forms of chemotherapy depending on the severity of the tumor or tumors. If it is only in one eye (retinoblastoma) then chances are the eye can be saved by chemo treatments. If it is both eyes (bitateral retinoblastoma) then chemo and radiation are involved, also surgery. If it happens to be both eyes and in the brain (trilateral retinoblastoma) then a lot more chemo and radiation and more surgeries. In some cases where chemo or radiation doesn’t work then the eye or eyes have to be enucleated (removed). There are risks with enucleating the eyes from infection to not being able to wear a prosthetic eye.
After the childs eye or eyes have healed then they are fitted for their new prosthetic eye. The Ocular Doctor that makes the eyes will make them the same color that the infected eyes were. They also add veins to the eye to try to make it look as real as they can. But before the child can...
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