RETINOBLASTOMA is a rare childhood cancer with only three hundred cases diagnosed each year. It is often missed on well check appointments by the pediatricians because the pupil needs to be dilated in order to check the back of the eye where the retina is located. It is most often found by parents and grandparents when they are looking at photo’s of the child taken with a flash. Instead of the normal “red eye” in the photo, the pupil will turn white like a “cat’s eye”.
Other Symptoms include an eye turning in slightly otherwise called a “lazy eye”, pain, or redness. IF YOUR PEDIATRICIAN TELLS YOU TO OBSERVE A LAZY EYE THEN SEEK A SECOND OPINION BY A PEDIATRIC OPTHOMOLOGIST!! If the cancer is not detected in time, it will travel down the optic nerve into the brain and the other eye. If detected early, then treatment can save the child’s life as well as their eye and possibly their vision. Children with RETINOBLASTOMA are watched very closely with numerous MRI studies and exams under anesthesia until they are five years old.