How to conform that you child has retinoblastoma is a tough question to answer. Owing to the less number of cases, Retinoblastoma is not an easy disease to detect.
Another name for retinoblastoma is eye cancer in kids.
Now, for cancer to be detected, the ideal test is biopsy. This is a standard procedure recommended by the medical associations throughout the world wherein a part of the tumor is extracted and dispatched for further medical tests. The results derived from the test determine whether the tumor is indeed malignant or not.
Ironically, in the case of retinoblastoma, biopsy is not an option. First of all, it is the eye of a child that we are dealing with. Moreover the tumor within the eye that is in contention, may not be cancerous. Extracting a part of the tumor from within the child’s eye is a super-risky procedure. So, medical professionals usually rule out this method (unless extremely necessary).
How can a Layman Tell is his/her Child has Retinoblastoma?
@ You may like to watch out for the normal movement of the eyeball. If the eyeballs are shifting (together) towards the nose bridge or away from them then, it is a possibility that your child has eye cancer.
@ Another sign is the development of a white spot that seems like a tumor within the eye itself.
@ Itching, tears and irritation in the eye of the child (that tends to persist for days) is yet another tell-tale sign.
@ The pupil of your kid may begin to turn white in color. It may also seem larger than normal.
@ Another sign of eye cancer in kids is redness in the eye. The irises may be multi-colored.
So, how to conform that you child has retinoblastoma? Well, let’s find out:
How to Confirm that Your Child has Retinoblastoma Article Contents:
1. How is The Family Medical History Linked with Your Child’s Eye Cancer?
2. Why would the an Ocular Oncologist Summon Your Kid’s Medical Reports?
3. The Importance of an MRI Scan in Detecting Retinoblastoma in Your Child?
4. The Relevance of Bone Scintigraphy in Determining Eye Cancer in Your Kid
5. What is the Importance of Imaging Tests in this Context?
6. How can Ultrasound of the Eye Determine Retinoblastoma?
7. Is Computed Tomography a Suitable Test for Detecting Eye Cancer in Kids?
8. How Effective is a Blood Test to Check for Retinoblatoma?
9. How Effective is a Spinal Tap Test to Determine Eye Cancer in a Child?
10. Bone Marrow Extraction for Determining Eye Cancer in Kids
How is The Family Medical History Linked with Your Child’s Eye Cancer?
Cancer of the eye can pass on from one generation to another. This is a genetic defect that is tough to get rid of. If your child has tumor in both the eyes then, it is highly likely that he or she may possess the RB1 gene. This gene is responsible for altering the normal structure of the cells present within the eye.
It has also been noticed that kids with tumor in one eye can possess this mutant RB1 gene. So, it is highly likely that kids with infection in a single eye can also have a cancerous growth owing to a defective gene. The RB1 gene can increase the chances of eye cancer in kids. So, gene test is vital to determine the presence of this gene or not.
If the tests confirm the presence of this gene then, it is highly recommended that you show your child to a genetic councilor. Kids with this mutant gene should also have their eyes checked by a doctor on a regular basis. If you have more kids in the family then, it is recommended to get them medically examined for this gene.
Why would the an Ocular Oncologist Summon Your Kid’s Medical Reports?
An ocular oncologist is an individual who specializes in treating cancers of the eye. Hence, it is best to show your child to such a specialist. The main reason why a doctor asks for the past medical history of your child is to assess whether he/she has had any prior infections of the eye.
A physical examination is also to be conducted by the ocular oncologist. Prior medical reports of the child help the doctor determine the right course of action to treat the eye infection. The different types of retinoblastoma would be revealed via this examination.
Your first line of treatment should be to consult a ophthalmologist. If the regular eye doctor suspects cancerous growth within the eye then, you may want to seek the services of an ocular oncologist. So, it is a stepwise transition from a regular eye doctor to a cancer specialist.
The Importance of an MRI Scan in Detecting Retinoblastoma in Your Child?
Another name of MRI scan is Magnetic Resonance Imaging. As there is no use of radiation in MRI scans, closely checking the structure of the child’s eye is highly recommended via the aid of this medical procedure.
Most probably, an ophthalmologist would be able to detect weather your child is indeed suffering from retinoblastoma of the eye or not via an MRI scan itself. The spinal cord as well as the brain of the child can also be mapped via an MRI scan. Doctors shall study these vital body parts apart from the eye.
The MRI scan is considered a safe way to examine the actual infection that your kid’s eye has suffered. Pineal gland tumors can also be detected via Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Nonetheless, kids can have a tough time lying within the cylindrical shaped object (the MRI machine) for a long duration. Apart from this discomfort, it is a relatively easy and harmless test for kids.
The Relevance of Bone Scintigraphy in Determining Eye Cancer in Your Kid
With the help of bone scintigraphy, you get to determine the current nature and structure of the bones present within your child’s body. This is a nuclear medicine that helps the doctor determine any infection or changes in the natural structure of the bone. Bone scintigraphy is recommended when the eye cancer in kids seems to have spread outside of the eye.
Bone Scintigraphy consists of a special camera that tends to display the bone in a magnified manner. At the same time, radioactive material is used while conducting bone scan examination of the child. Nonetheless, the amount of this harmful radiation is bare minimal in nature. So, it should ideally not harm the child in any which way.
The basic aim of the bone scintigraphy test is to determine weather the eye-infection (cancerous growth) has indeed spread to other parts of the body or not.
What is the Importance of Imaging Tests in this Context?
Imaging testing is yet another method of determining whether your kid actually suffers from eye cancer or not. Imaging Testing is a technique wherein the doctor makes use of magnetic fields, x-rays and sound waves to detect what is going on inside the body of your child. Sometimes radioactive particles too are put to use in these tests.
Imaging tests help the doctor determine the size and shape of the tumor. It also helps the doctor determine whether the eye of the child is developing cancerous growth or not. It is through the tissues of your body that imaging testing can determine the pattern of the tumor (via the means of the derived image that is constructed by your tissue’s energy patterns).
Imaging Tests also help the doctor determine the right course of treatment to cure the current eye infection.
How can Ultrasound of the Eye Determine Retinoblastoma?
This is a test wherein the doctor studies the inner parts of the human body via the aid of sound waves. The echo emitted by an eye tumor is distinct. When compared to the echo emitted by normal eye tissue, tumor tends to emit different sound waves.
The difference in sound waves tend to allow the medical representatives to determine the extent of the eye infection. Ultrasound is a process that does not involve any invasive procedure. It therefore does not irritate the child in any which ways.
Is Computed Tomography a Suitable Test for Detecting Eye Cancer in Kids?
Another test that is highly recommended by an eye doctor is computed tomography. Popularly known as a CT scan, this test tends to offer three dimensional images of the child’s eye. The doctor then studies these images (that have been taken from various angles) to determine the extent of the tumor.
A special dye is also given to the concerned subject in order to get more clarity in terms of the images of the eye. A child usually swallows these pills without a fuss. The only issue with a Computed Tomography test is the high amount of radiation used here. This (frequent CT scans) in turn may lead to complications in the near future.
How Effective is a Blood Test to Check for Retinoblatoma?
Normally, kids do not have to undergo blood test in the initial stages. If, after the above mentioned tests have not yielded conclusive results then, the doctor may recommend a blood test to check the extent of the eye infection. As far as the effectives is concerned then, it is definitely effective in determining the extent of the tumor growth.
The evaluation of alterations in chromozome13 is what helps the ocular oncologist determine the nature of the child’s eye tumor. This evaluation is further linked with the genetic makeup of the cells present in the child’s eye. Overall, a blood test is an effective way to detect cancer of the eye.
How Effective is a Spinal Tap Test to Determine Eye Cancer in a Child?
Now, this is a painful test and is usually not advisable for kids. Nonetheless, in extreme cases, kids do need to undergo this process. Here, a needle is inserted into the spinal column of the child. The purpose is to extract a small amount of cerebral spinal fluid. This fluid is then used for measuring the extent of cancer development in a child’s body (including retinoblastoma).
The abnormalities in the cell formation in the blood is detected via this test. It helps the doctor determine weather cancer is spreading from the child’s eye to other parts of the body or not. To make it easier for the child, doctors usually tend to administer a numbing injection in order to ensure that the child is at peace while the procedure is underway.
The pelvic bone is where this procedure is performed. The tissue, blood and cells thus extracted can be further studies by a certified medical examiner to assess the extent of infection.
Bone Marrow Extraction for Determining Eye Cancer in Kids
Once again, this is not a standard procedure and is used as a last resort. Nonetheless, in this process, the solid tissue found within the bones of the child is extracted. These bones are responsible for creating cells. The sample thus collected is sent for further evaluation. Once again, this is a painful procedure and kids are usually omitted form it (unless extremely necessary).
Usually bone marrow tests are conducted to determine blood cancer or anemia in patients. This test also determines abnormalities in chronozones (as I have mentioned above). Bone marrow test is most commonly done to determine issues with the marrow. Finally, doctors also sometimes conduct this test in order to determine whether their current line of treatment is yielding the desired results or not.
Retinoblastoma takes shape when the healthy cells present in the eye of your child start to change their natural multiplication process. They also alter their original shape and multiply at warp speed. This in turn leads to the formation of tumors. If the tumor is benign then, all is well. Nonetheless, if the tumor is malignant then, it starts to spread to other parts of the body.
When the tumor or infection in the eye is capable of spreading to other parts of the body, it is termed as cancer of the eye. This cancer can be unilateral as well as bilateral in nature. Whatever the case may be, you need to prevent retinoblastoma from spreading.
Hence, you should exercise caution when any of the above mentioned symptoms (that I have covered in this article) start to make their presence felt. Safety of your child should be of utmost importance.