Sunday, July 16, 2017

Retinoblastoma Eye Cancer in Children

Retinoblastoma is a rare but potentially catastrophic eye cancer that is found in children during a routine eye exam. We encourage all parents or caregivers of children to be sure that at least their primary care doctor or pediatrician is performing a simple “red reflex” test especially under the age of two years to quickly identify children at risk. This is especially important in less affluent or lower socioeconomic areas as there are a noticeable disparity in outcomes for children with retinoblastoma who have limited access to routine pediatric care. Researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center report in a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that although virtually all the children in the study survived, Hispanic children and children who lived in disadvantaged areas were more likely to lose an eye due to late diagnosis. White children and children who live in areas with a higher socioeconomic status were more likely to have been diagnosed early enough that physicians could preserve their eye and vision.  The study found: 
·        At the time of diagnosis, the disease had spread beyond the eye in 33 percent of Hispanic children, compared with 20 percent of non-Hispanic children.
·        At diagnosis, disease had spread beyond the eye in 28 percent of children from high-poverty areas, compared with 20 percent of other children. Similar disparities were found in other measures of socio-economic status.
·        Three-quarters (74.5 percent) of Hispanic children had the diseased eye surgically removed, compared with two-thirds (67.5 percent) of non-Hispanic children and less than two thirds (63 percent) of non-Hispanic white children. Among non-Hispanic black and Asian children, 74 percent had their eye removed.
·        Three-quarters (76 percent) of children living in disadvantaged counties had their eye removed, compared to less than two-thirds (64 percent) who lived in advantaged counties.

As with many eye problems retinoblastoma eye cancer can be best addressed with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or some you know is concerned about a child being at risk for retinoblastoma or any children’s eye problem please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser. Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.