'Early Detection can Help Treat Retinoblastoma'
An awareness campaign on Retinoblastoma and its symptoms was organised at Cubbon Park on the occasion of World Retinoblastoma Day on Wednesday.Retinoblastoma is a type of cancer that occurs mostly in children below four years and can be life-threatening.
“If treated in time, 95 per cent of children can be saved,” said Dr Rajesh Redina, consultant at Sankara Eye Hospital. He said: “Retinoblastoma is a cancerous growth that occurs in the eye and presents itself as a white reflex on the pupil (cat eye-like appearance) or as a squint. If ignored in the early stage, it can cause protrusion of eye ball, this occurs among one in 2,000 live births.”
The treatment of ocular cancer includes chemotherapy, localised radiation and often, in advance stages, a surgical procedure called Enucleation where the eye is sacrificed to protect life. There are other conditions too where the eye may be deformed without useful vision.
Padmavati, Rehabilitation Specialist at Sankara Eye Hospital, said, “Eighty per cent of Retinoblastoma cases are first recognised by family members and less than 20 per cent are diagnosed through medical checkup. It is critical for family members to be aware of the symptoms. Early diagnosis will help save both the eyes in some children, but definitely the lives of most children.”
There were 15 children, aged between two and eight, present at the event who were treated for Retinoblastoma by the Department of Ocular Oncology, Sankara Eye Hospital.
Kavita, the mother of eight-year-old Dinesh, said, “He is suffering from this cancer by birth. One eye has been operated upon and he is currently undergoing treatment for the second eye and I don’t have to pay since the treatment is done for free.”