CareTalk: Blog for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Get insights and inspiration from Nemours’ experts in Hematology/Oncology.
At Nemours, we know that the discovery of a childhood cancer like retinoblastoma (a tumor that grows in the retina) is overwhelming. We promise to give your family everything you need to make informed decisions, to answer all your questions and to to be there for you every step of the way. Thankfully, the majority of children treated for retinoblastoma go on to lead normal lives and retain their vision.
Retinoblastoma, which occurs most commonly in children under the age of five, is a cancerous tumor that grows in the retina, the light-sensing part of the eye that sends the images we see to the brain. In children, retinoblastoma can be present in one or both eyes.
To diagnose retinoblastoma in children, our pediatric ophthalmologists will examine the retina by dilating the eye, and will also order tests such as:
While most children are born with retinoblastoma, the majority are not diagnosed until they are 12–18 months old. Pediatric ophthalmologists across the Nemours system are pioneers in detecting ophthalmologic disorders, like retinoblastoma, in utero (while babies are still in the womb). What’s more, our oncologists (cancer doctors) are recognized as some of the very best pediatric specialists and researchers in the country and across the globe. We work together to bring the most advanced retinoblastoma diagnosis and treatment to children of all ages.
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If tests reveal that a retinoblastoma might be present in your child, our pediatric ophthalmologists will work together with Nemours oncologists (cancer doctors) to look for any other signs of the cancer in the body, and determine the disease stage and best course of treatment.
You should also know that majority of children treated for retinoblastoma go on to lead normal lives ― and more than 80% of them will retain 20/20 vision.
Some eye disorders, like retinoblastoma in children, can be diagnosed before birth and our doctors are pioneers in diagnosing ophthalmic disorders in utero. Knowing what to expect helps ease your concerns and allows time to plan for your child’s care. Our ophthalmologists will explain the condition, discuss current methods of treatment, answer all your questions, and share literature and informative websites with you.
Learn more about Nemours Partners for Perinatal Management, which works with expectant parents facing a possible congenital (present at birth) condition.