Retinoblastoma – What You Need To Know
Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a type of eye cancer that affects young children.
It develops in the cells of the retina and about 60 children are diagnosed in the UK annually.
Retinoblastoma has a high cure rate, but early diagnosis is important. If you see signs of retinoblastoma, visit an optometrist or GP to have your child’s eyes checked straight away.
Commenting on the role that opticians can play in helping to diagnose retinoblastoma, chief executive of CHECT, Patrick Tonks, explained: “Opticians have a crucial role to play in helping to drive early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, with a quarter of all parents saying an optician would be their first port of call if they had any concerns”.
Symptoms of retinoblastoma
Retinoblastoma is rare, so remember these symptoms may not indicate the presence of cancer:
You might see a white glow in your child’s eye. This may only be seen once or all the time.
Your child’s eye may become very red and inflamed for no obvious reason.
Change in iris colour
The coloured part of the eye – can change colour in one eye, sometimes only in one area.
No red eye
In a photo where one eye has “red eye” (which is normal), the other eye may look black. This can be a sign that something is not right.
Your child’s vision may begin to deteriorate, or they may have had poor vision from birth. You may notice that they don’t focus, fix and follow as well as other children of the same age.
How to diagnose retinoblastoma
If you think your child is showing symptoms of retinoblastoma, go to your GP or an optometrist to have their eyes examined as soon as possible.
At your appointment
The medical professional will refer your child to the local ophthalmology department for further investigation if they have concerns.
For more information about retinoblastoma, visit The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.