This is a malignant tumour of the eye, which can not only irreparably harm the child's vision, but can even be life-threatening. It may be unilateral or bilateral.
The tumor becomes noticeable in the first or second year of life as a whitish reflection from inside the pupil (lefkokoria). It is often hereditary and newborns who have relatives with retinoblastoma should be examined thoroughly. In fact, if the relation is a parent, the child has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition.
Although retinoblastoma is always fatal if left untreated, it is, however, almost always recognized early and is considered of the most curable childhood cancers.
If the tumor is small, the retinoblastoma is treated with radiation treatment, chemotherapy, Laser, cryotherapy or a combination of all. Larger tumors, however, may require the removal of the child’s eye.
If there is reason to believe the tumor has metastasized to other areas of the body, then we resort to chemotherapy.
Children who suffer from retinoblastoma require close supervision even after successful treatment because of the increased likelihood of malignant tumors reappearing.