What is Retinoblastoma?
Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer which is common among children. It rarely occurs in adults. The cancer is initiated within the retina and then it eventually spreads like any other cancer.
Retina consists of cells at the back of the eye which detect the light and then send signals to the brain to project images.
How is Retinoblastoma developed?
Before birth during the development of eyes, cells which are called Retinoblasts multiply themselves to produce more of them but stop when the retina is ﬁlled with them and develop into mature retinal cells.
If something goes wrong and the cells grow out of control and continue to multiply themselves although they are supposed to stop growing, it leads to the formation of the cancer known as Retinoblastoma.
Retinoblastoma mostly a‰ects the children and infants so the symptoms are not common and can be easily detected.
Some symptoms include:
- Pain in the eye.
- Cloudy vision.
- Whiteness in the black pupil when exposed to light.
- Redness in the eyes.
- The eyes don’t seem to appear in the right place.
Other symptoms like headaches, vomiting and loss of appetite may occur when the cancer has spread to more areas apart from the eyes.
If you are facing any of these symptoms u should consult with a doctor immediately such as the Best Eye specialist in Lahore.
How Is It Diagnosed?
To diagnose the cancer the doctor ﬁrst carries out an eye test to check the cause behind the symptoms. If the doctor detects a cancer then further steps are taken to diagnose it such as,
- Imaging tests which are done to check if the cancer has a‰ected the other areas. These tests may include MRI and Ultrasound.
- MRI is done to evaluate the size of the tumour. It uses magnetic ﬁelds to produce more precise images of the brain and spinal cord. The patient is given a special dye which is either injected or given as a pill for better images.
- An Ultra sound creates images of the organs by using the sound waves. The tumour produces di‰erent sound waves from the normal tissues so when the transmitter is run over the body, it creates images on the computer through which doctors can determine whether there is a tumour or not.
There are many ways to treat Retinoblastoma. It depends on the size of the tumour and how much it has a‰ected other areas.
Chemotherapy is done by giving the patients drugs to kill the cancerous cells. It may be injected directly in the eyes if the cancer hasn’t spread to other parts otherwise it’s injected in the veins or the patient swallows it.
Cryotherapy kills the cancerous cells. It is done by freezing the cells by injecting substances like liquid nitrogen. Once the cells are freezed the doctors remove the substance and the cells thaw. This process is repeated several times.
Laser treatment can also be another way of treating it. The laser is used to completely destroy the cells by heating them to death.
If the cancer has spread too much then Eye removal surgery is the last option. This surgery is done so that the cancer doesn’t spread to other parts and harm them.
It’s a really huge blessing to be able to see. Vision is indeed one of the best gifts and it’s our duty to take special care of it. If you are facing any problems regarding the eye then you should probably consult the Best Eye specialist in Karachi. He will further guide you.