What is Retinoblastoma?

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that is usually found in children but can sometimes be found in adults. It is usually found before the age of two. Retinoblastoma starts in the retina which the part of the eye that senses light and sends a picture to your brain. Retinoblastoma can occur in one eye or both eyes.

What causes Retinoblastoma? Who is affected?

Retinoblastoma happens when there is a change or a mutation in a gene in a child’s DNA. When the retina does not work the way it is supposed to, the cells in the retina grow out of control. The gene damage happens randomly and occurs only in one cell, which causes a tumor in one eye. When both eyes have a tumor, it means that multiple cells have been damaged. It is also possible that children may have inherited a genetic mutation from their parents. Children are mostly affected by retinoblastoma, but sometimes in rare cases may be found in adults.

What are the symptoms of Retinoblastoma?

Since retinoblastoma is most commonly found in children symptoms are rare. Some visible signs may include a white color in the center of the pupil when light is shined into the eye, eyes appear to be looking in different directions, eye redness, and eye swelling.

How is Retinoblastoma treated?

Treatment for retinoblastoma varies depending on the size and location of the tumor. Doctors use many different treatments for retinoblastoma, including chemotherapy, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, laser therapy, and radiation.

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