Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer, posing major challenges to researchers everywhere. In part 1/2 of this article, Rb survivor and WE C Hope CEO, Abby White, explores the many ways multicentre research collaboration can overcome these challenges and change patient care and outcomes – for the child, survivor, family and professional.
Many retinoblastoma survivors live with significant long term treatment impacts and second cancer risks. Yet most children, adult survivors and their families struggle to access appropriate ongoing care. Len Burns, a totally blind bilateral Rb survivor and licensed family therapist, highlights the most common survivor concerns, and potential ways to improve long term care and quality of life.
Sharing knowledge and experience, and working together, are vital to build better retinoblastoma care. WE C Hope CEO, Abby White, highlights two key meetings on the horizon that will unite professionals, scientists, and parents and survivors who live with the impacts of childhood eye cancer, to advance care for all.
Many families tell of delayed pathways to care when their child is diagnosed with eye cancer. Orthoptist and retinoblastoma care coordinator, Sandra Staffieri, and leukocoria awareness advocate, Megan Webber, are frustrated by the repeated stories and their negative patient impacts. They explore why these delays continue, some efforts to overcome the challenges, and where they find hope for the future.
Survivor participation in retinoblastoma research is key to understanding long-term impacts of the cancer, and improving care. But many barriers to participation exist Len Burns, a blind bilateral Rb survivor and licensed family therapist, considers four major barriers, and opportunities to overcome them.
Retinoblastoma follow up care is vital for all children after treatment, and for many survivors throughout life. The end of cancer therapy brings both celebration and uncertainty. Knowing what to expect can help calm worries and empower strong advocates. Child Life Specialist Morgan Livingstone reviews what follow up care may involve, and tips to help families and adult survivors navigate this stage of medical care.
Retinoblastoma awareness is the vital first step to cure! Early diagnosis leads to better outcomes for children, with less intense treatment. Sessions at every One Rb World explore how we can best raise parent, public and medical community awareness of common first signs, and develop effective screening for early detection. Below, we share sessions from the 2017,2020, and 2021 meetings.
Every child with retinoblastoma, parent, sibling, survivor, and medical professional has a story to tell of their journey through childhood eye cancer. Understanding our individual and collective experience empowers us to develop and deliver holistic care for all. Rb survivor and WE C Hope USA Director, Clayonia Colbert-Dorsey discusses the growing field of ethnography research, and how it can positively impact our diverse global community.
Retinoblastoma is staged to help doctors describe the extent of cancer in a child’s body, define potential for cure, vision and eye salvage, identify the best treatments, and compare impact of different therapies. Dr. Ashwin Mallipatna explains the TNM Staging System for Retinoblastoma and why it is the best approach for patient care.
Retinoblastoma research is vital to understand how this cancer behaves; treatment benefits, side effects, and risks; and impacts throughout life. Findings help guide medical and supportive care for the child patient, survivor, and family. Rb Survivor, Abby White explores different types of medical research; their goals, benefits, and limitations; and opportunities to overcome the current challenges.