Tag Archive for: saving lives

This image has two sections. The top portion is a pictorial description of the TNM Staging, and comparison with the IIRC (comparison in brackets). Six images show progression of cancer through the different TNM stages, from small tumours confined to the retina in T1a (A) and T1b (B) to large tumours and seeds in T2a (C/C) and T2b (C/D). These first four images are grouped as “intraocular”. T3a-e (E) shows distress to tissue surrounding the eye. This image is indicated as high risk for extraocular spread. T4 (no IIRC comparison) shows an eye that has ruptured completely. This last image is described as extraocular. The lower section of the image shows average age at diagnosis in developed and developing countries, and the timeline to extraocular spread. The smiling child on the left is pictured with white pupil. The caption below reads: “North America: Unilateral Dx mean 27 mo | Bilateral Dx mean 15 mo”. The child on the right has a completely ruptured eye. The caption below reads “Kenya: Unilateral Dx mean 36 mo | Bilateral Dx mean 26 mo”. An arrow points from the left to right photo and reads “6 to 11 mo DELAY dx”.

Staging Intraocular Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is staged to help doctors describe the degree of cancer in a child’s body, define potential for cure / eye salvage, determine best treatments, and compare impact of different therapies. Each eye is staged separately to define potential for safely saving the eye and vision.

Quote: "Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." Robert Frost

A Rough Road Through The Valley

So many days I feel I am banging my head against a wall, watching children die who could have been saved with clear information, simple surgery and emotional support. But the knowledge of how life could be made better for each child, family and survivor is a strong motivational pull. The suffering that can be mitigated with relatively small resources. Somehow when I think I have no more energy, I mine a new seam from within, and from the encouragement and kindness of others, and I move forward, one step at a time.

This image diagram describes each group of the International Intraocular Retinoblastoma Classification

Staging and Classification for Intraocular Retinoblastoma

Intraocular retinoblastoma is classified and staged to help doctors describe the degree of cancer in a child’s eye, determine best treatment options, define potential for cure / eye salvage, and compare impact of different therapies. Each eye is classified to define potential for safely saving the eye / vision. Stage of bilateral Rb is based on the worst affected eye, as an indicator of risk to the child’s life. When an eye might be classified into one of two groups, the higher risk group should be selected. This reduces risk of eye loss or life threatening relapse due to under-treatment.

An overwhelmed mother comforts her child in hospital.

Two Children – Two Very Different Journeys.

Two children. The same affliction. Drastically different outcomes. Yet each story represents the most common reality for children with retinoblastoma in these respective parts of the world.