What is Retinoblastoma?Retinoblastoma is a rare type of cancer in the innermost layer of the eye called the retina. The retina is made up of photoreceptors and neuronal cells. These photoreceptors receive light, convert it into electrical signals, and send those signals to the brain to complete the visual process of creating vision.
Disease EpidemiologyThe global incidence of retinoblastoma is 11 per million young children under 5 years of age. According to a scientific report, the survival rate for retinoblastoma patients ranges from 86% to 92%. Most often diagnosed in children under 5 years of age.
Disease EtiologyGenetic mutation is the main cause of the development of retinoblastoma.
Signs and symptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- When light is thrown on the eye a white centre circle appears on the eye. It is known as the cat’s eye reflex.
- Red, painful eye
- Glaucoma (Increased intraocular pressure of the eye)
- Poor vision
- Repetitive uncontrolled movement of the eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis.
- Complete blood count (CBC), Urine complete examination (UCE), LFT’s (Liver function tests) to rule out other diseases confused with retinoblastoma.
- DNA analysis
- Aqueous humour enzyme level assays
- Imaging techniques like USG, X-RAY, CT-scan, MRI, and PET-scan to know the size, site, and extent of the tumour.
- Immunohistopathologic staining
- Dilated fundus examination with indirect ophthalmoscopy
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
TreatmentThe treatment options are;
- External beam radiation therapy (for tumours that tend to grow during chemotherapy)
- Radioactive isotope plaque (radioactive isotope plaque treatment is recommended for one large retinoblastoma or more than one moderate-sized tumours).