Five smooth pebbles are stacked in decreasing size on a beach, where lively surf rolls into shore. The high sky is clear blue, with a few clouds above the horizon, which is lightly tinged with a pale peachy glow of sunrise or sunset.

Mindfulness Tips for Retinoblastoma Families and Supporting Teachers

Living with the daily effects of childhood eye cancer can be overwhelming, for all family members. Both the immediate crisis of diagnosis and treatment, and the long-term impacts and risks. Child Life Intern and Student Teacher, Meagan Fuller, highlights some simple mindfulness techniques parents and children can use to ease daily tension.

An African doctor looks on as another uses a handheld digital camera to visualise a child's eyes during an exam under anaesthesia.

TNM Staging System for Retinoblastoma

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.

A woman sits alone on a bench under a sprawling weeping willow tree in a park. She is facing away from the camera.

Retinoblastoma Survivors’ Perspectives on Long-Term Follow up Care

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.

A baby boy looks at the camera. his right eye shows a white reflex while his left eye is turned in towards his nose.

When ‘Something’ Looks the Same As ‘Nothing’: Strabismus, Leukocoria and Childhood Eye Cancer

Strabismus (turned eye) and leukocoria (white pupil), the most common signs of retinoblastoma, can also occur in healthy eyes. Sandra Staffieri, Retinoblastoma Care Co-ordinator at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, examines both and answers the key question – when should parents and doctors be concerned?

Dr. Skalet examines a child under anesthesia using an indirect ophthalmoscope. Published with permission.

Familial Retinoblastoma Screening: When Eye Cancer Runs in the Family

Familial retinoblastoma affects more than one member of the same family. Diagnosing children early provides the best opportunities for life and sight-saving care. Alison Skalet, ocular oncologist and director of the Rb service at Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, explores opportunities for early diagnosis when a parent, sibling or other relative has already been diagnosed.

2 people side by side at a wooden table, one working on a laptop the other writing in a notebook. Only their hands are visible.

4 Reasons Survivors and Families May Not Participate in Retinoblastoma Research, and Ways to Improve Engagement.

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.

Artistic tree in white and gold ribbon on red background, surrounded by snow and tiny and large snowflakes. Below, a wave of opaque white ribbon flows across the image.

Our 2018 Blog Year in Review

The WE C Hope blog has been busy in 2018. We’ve shared 24 posts from 17 authors – parents, survivors, researchers or professionals providing retinoblastoma-related care. Each has brought valuable experience, knowledge and perspective, and we are very thankful to them all. Here is a recap of posts we’ve shared in the past 12 months.

Workshop attendees gather for a group photo.

Shaping Retinoblastoma Research Development Through Patient Engagement

Parents and survivors have valuable lived experience that can shape retinoblastoma research to improve health outcomes. Kaitlyn Flegg reviews progress of the innovative Canadian Retinoblastoma Research Advisory Board, where parent and survivor priorities are setting the research agenda.

Thr same eye after treatment - the fuzzy cloud has disappeared.

Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy (IAC) for Retinoblastoma Made Simple

Intra-arterial chemotherapy (IAC) offers potential to save eyes and sight in children with retinoblastoma, when life is not at risk. Through the FAQ of this treatment, Sameh Soliman, MD reviews its goals, indications for use, benefits, risks and limitations, and offers resources for further reading.

Damian

Always Life Before Eye – So Why Are Curable Children Dying?

Progress of eye-saving treatments for retinoblastoma is very exciting, but an increasing number of curable children are developing metastatic relapse and dying after eye-salvage therapy. With parent experiences woven throughout, Retinoblastoma survivor Abby White, asks why this is happening and what can be done to prevent it.