World Retinoblastoma Week
Retinoblastoma is a fast growing eye cancer affecting babies and young children. Early diagnosis is vital to save children’s life and sight, but very young children cannot tell parents their sight is changing, and the signs of vision loss in very young children can be subtle.
A white glow in a child’s eye, seen in flash photos or dim light, is the most common early sign of this cancer. 90% of children are diagnosed because a parent sees this sign, but the time delay between first seeing the sign and seeking medical help is often several months or more.
96% of children are cured today in the developed world, but many lose one or both eyes or suffer significant vision loss due to late diagnosis.
Curative treatment often has lifelong physical and psychosocial impacts on young children.
90% of children with eye cancer live in less economically developed countries, and most are diagnosed too late to save their lives.
Global survival is below 20%.
About 50% of survivors have an increased life-long risk of certain other cancers, and many struggle to receive appropriate ongoing medical care.