The different stages of childhood eye cancer has often been a debatable topic. It also needs to be noted that cancer of the eye in kids is very rare.
Most parents are not even aware that retinoblastoma is a cancer that is capable of jeopardizing the life of your child. Within just a few hundred cases being diagnosed in the United States annually, it is quite easy for parents to consider a critical issue such as eye cancer of a child with a stye.
Hence, it is in your best interest to learn more about retinoblastoma. Doing so shall reduce the risk and trauma that your child has to undergo while growing up. The cancer of the eye in a child can be distinguished by the formation of a tiny tumor. This cellular mass is present within the eye itself.
Nonetheless, you also need to learn about the classification of childhood eye cancer in order to recover from it easily.
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What are the Different Stages of Childhood Eye Cancer Article Contents:
1. What is the Staging System of Childhood Eye Cancer?
2. What is the International Classification of Intraocular Childhood Eye Cancer?
3. What is Intraocular Classification of Childhood Eye Cancer (ICRB)?
4. What is Extraocular Retinoblastoma?
5. What Factors tend to Aggravate Extraocular Childhood Eye Cancer?
6. When is the Best Time to Show Your Child to an Optometrist or an Ocular Oncologist?
What is the Staging System of Childhood Eye Cancer?
The staging system has been established by several medical associations across the globe. The basic and core of the staging process of childhood cancer remains the same. Nonetheless, the procedure, names and categorizations may differ slightly from one country to another.
With the help of the staging system, the doctor can determine the current growth of the cancer and how far it has spread. It is a systematic classification of the level at which your eye infection has spread. It streamlines the treatment procedure and makes it easier for the ocular oncologist to cure the patient in the most suitable manner.
There are 2 Major Divisions on which is Based this Classification:
In this stage of the cancer, the infection is present within the eye itself. Simply put, the tumor is present within the eye itself. So, the cancerous tumor (which comprises of cells that have multiplied rampantly) is staying-put within the eye itself. Here, the growth is present but the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body is completely amiss.
This is the second stage of the eye cancer wherein the cancerous tumor starts to spread to other parts of the child’s body. This is further sub-divided into two different stages:
@ Here, the cancerous tumor has shifted its base from the eye and shifted towards the orbital bone.
@ The residual tumor cells can be seen clearly from the naked eye in the eye’s orbit .
@ Cancer cells can also be seen at the transection of the optic nerve.
@ The cancerous tumor seeps through the globe wall and then spreads to other body parts.
@ In metastatic retinoblastoma, the cancer spreads to other body parts via the optic nerve. The brain as well as the spinal cord are most affected by this kind of infectious spread.
@ Metastases becomes a possibility here wherein the cancer from the eye spreads to other organs via the blood stream. The lung, pancreas, liver, stomach and kidney may become infected.
@ This category of eye cancer is far more dangerous as it has left the eye and started to infect other parts of the child’s body.
What is the International Classification of Intraocular Childhood Eye Cancer?
The international classification of childhood eye cancer is slightly different from the Phily version. Here is a quick look at it:
The First Stage of Childhood Eye Cancer:
In this stage of infection, the tumor in the child’s is confirmed. The size of the tumor is 3 m across or less than 3mm. The diameter and basal thickness of the eye tumor simply cannot exceed the 3mm mark. The foveola as well as the optical disc is spared of this infection.
Hence, in this stage, the tumor is present within the retina itself. It has not yet spread elsewhere. The tumor is at least 1.5 millimeters away from the orbital bone. The eye infection in the child is therefore at the initial stages and the risk is also minimal in nature.
The Second Stage of Childhood Eye Cancer:
In the second stage of childhood eye cancer, the size of the tumor is bigger than 3mm. The tumor starts to shift base from the seed into a semi-liquid compartment. The tumor spreads in the form of subretinal fluid. The length of this fluid could be as long as 5 millimeters. It cannot be longer than 5 mm.
Basically, the tumor in the retina grows larger and the rick to the child’s eye also increases. While the tumor is still within the retina of the child’s eye, it starts to close-in on the foveola as well as the optic disc.
The Third Stage of Childhood Eye Cancer:
In this stage, the eye of the child undergoes subretinal seeding. It may even undergo focal vitreous. The size of the tumor is irrelevant. Owing to vitreous seeding in the eye, the tumor breaks down into a fine jelly and starts to seep from within a retina tear.
The x and y axis of the subretinal fluid quadrant should read positive numbers only. When the cancer reaches the third stage then, the risks attached to the child’s eye are higher as compared to the risks when retinoblastoma is in the second stage.
The Fourth Stage of Childhood Eye Cancer:
In the last and final stage of retinoblastoma, the eye of the child is at maximum risk. The possibility of the retina being plucked off from the eye rear is rather high. The tumor is so large that blood pressure within the eye is extremely high. There is a high possibility that the eye cannot be saved at this stage of the cancer.
What is Intraocular Classification of Childhood Eye Cancer (ICRB)?
The ICRB classification of eye cancer in kids can be sub-divided into four broad categories. Each of these categories has its own distinctive composition. Let me (LeanandFit review staff) walk you through these 4 groups in brief:
The Stage with the Least Risk to the Eye:
@ In this stage, the size of the tumor is less than or equal to 3 millimeters. This is with regards to its overall thickness.
@ Here, the tumor is located in the eye and has not spread elsewhere.
@ The risk to the eye of the child is therefore minimal.
The Stage with Slight Risk to the Eye:
@ The tumor in this stage has grown larger than 3 millimeters in size.
@ The tumor now tends to shift towards the foveola. The distance between both is less than or equal to 3 millimeters.
@ The subretinal fluid is closer to the margin. The distance is less than or equal to 3 millimeters.
@ The Juxtapapillary is just 1.5 millimeters away from the disc.
@ The risk to the eye of the child has now increased.
The Stage with High Risk to the Eye:
@ In this stage of childhood eye cancer, the subretinal seeds tends to be less than 3 millimeters from the sight of the tumor.
@ The vitreous seeds too shifts its focus and is just 3 millimeters from the source of the tumor.
@ The risk to the child’s eye is increased significantly.
The Stage with the Quite High Risk to the Eye:
@ In this stage of retinoblastoma, the vitreous seeds is greater than 3 millimeters from the sight of the tumor.
@ The subretinal seeds too are more than 3 millimeters from the sight of the tumor.
@ Risk the child’s eye is very high here.
The Stage with the Highest Risk to the Eye:
@ In this stage of childhood eye cancer, the tumor has now spread.
@ The tumor occupies more than half of the child’s bulbus oculi.
@ The chances of glaucoma are very high.
@ Optic nerve is infected and hemorrhage in the subretinal and anterior space are rather high.
@ The tumor tends to scrape with the lens of the eye.
@ The eye of the child is at the highest risk here.
What is Extraocular Retinoblastoma?
Extraocular retinoblastoma is a condition wherein the eye cancer has spread from the eye to other parts of the child’s body. This is a very serious medical situation that often puts the child’s life at risk. The reason behind this phenomenon could be attributed to delay in identifying the child’s eye infection or lapse of proper treatment by the concerned doctor who is overseeing the child’s case.
How does the Eye Cancer in a Child Spread to Other Body Parts?
@ The tumor in the eye can escape the eye via the optic nerve.
@ The tumor can also escape via the cerebrospinal fluid and then enter the brain.
@ It is also possible that the eye infection may slip along the meninges and then infect other parts of the child’s body.
@ The eye tumor may travel tot he socket of the eye via the blood vessels located in the sclera.
@ It is also possible that the eye tumor spread to the lymph nodes using the blood vessels located in the choroid as a passageway.
@ In certain cases, the eye tumor slips into the bone marrow via the blood vessels located within the sclera.
What Factors tend to Aggravate Extraocular Childhood Eye Cancer?
There are several reasons why extraocular childhood cancer may spread to other parts of the child’s body. The ways and means of how an eye cancer in the eye of the child may escape to other body parts. Nonetheless, what needs to be addressed is why and how the eye cancer in kids tends to spiral out of control.
Well, here are the main reasons for the same:
@ If the child has tumor in the eye and he/she has yet to visit the doctor.
@ The child has visited the doctor but the biopsy has not been conducted optimally. Basically, the eye has not been removed.
@ The eye tumor is present in front of the eye. This is a scenario wherein spreading of the infection is at its highest self.
@ The tumor present in the eye of the child has enveloped the optic nerve. This is when the infection may spread to other parts of the body using the optic nerve as a safe passage.
@ The outer layer of the eye is where the tumor has taken place. This is inclusive of the sclera. In certain cases, the tumor could also have taken place at the choroid area of the child’s eye. This too enables the cancer cells to escape to other parts of the body via the blood vessels present in the sclera or the choroid.
@ The tumor has forced the retina to get detached from the back of the eye. In such a scenario, the tumor has access to other parts of the body via the space thus created.
When is the Best Time to Show Your Child to an Optometrist or an Ocular Oncologist
An optometrist is a qualified doctor that specializes in treating the eyes of a child. Basically, this is an eye specialist that can be consulted if your child is showing signs of eye infection.
On the other hand, an ocular oncologist is a specialist that treats cancers of the eye. So, if the symptoms of eye infection in your child display cancerous growth then, have the child consult an ocular oncologist. Do remember that childhood eye cancer is usually detected in kids that are 3 years of age and less.
In order to confirm whether your child has retinoblastoma, you need to watch out for the following symptoms:
@ If you view a whitish glow emitting from amidst the eyeball of the child.
@ Click the photo of your child with his/her eyes open. If you catch a glimpse of a white colored ball in he center of the pupil then, it is an indicator to a tumor.
@ Make sure that the red eye reduction filter of your camera is turned off.
@ In case your child is complaining of pain or irritating in the eye without any outside interference then again, it is a sign of cancerous formation. This irritation often causes redness in the eye and is constant in nature.
@ Your child appears to have developed a squint.
@ The pain in one or both the eyes is constant and tends to increase with each passing day. This is owing to the increase in blood pressure within the eye owing to the tumor expansion.
@ Your child may complain of not being able to view objects close by and even far away clearly. Blurry vision is therefore an indicator to an underlying eye tumor in a child.
If you encounter these situations and detect that your child is complaining of the same then, it is in your child’s best interest that you pay a visit to an eye doctor.
The different stages of childhood eye cancer need to be understood by parents so that they help in the treatment procedure. It is vital to acknowledge that genes have a major role to play while determining childhood cancer of the eye in your child.
So, if you have the gene that leads to the development of cancerous tumor in the eye, your child is highly prone to suffer from retinoblastoma. Over here, the chances of your child getting eye cancer is 40% higher than ordinary individuals. So, never neglect the role your family medical history has to play in your child’s eye cancer development.
People with a hereditary of retinoblastoma have been known to develop cancers that tend to spread outside of the eye. Hence, the risks involved here are quite high. Simply put, people with genetic defects leading up to retinoblastoma usually do not have tumors limited to the eye.