Children Are Vulnerable to Experience Eye Cancer
Cancer can attack almost any part of the body, including the eyes. Children can be a vulnerable age group to experience this disease. The type of eye cancer that specifically affects children is retinoblastoma. This cancer is a genetic disease. In other words, children who have parents with the same disease are more prone to developing retinoblastoma eye cancer.
Retinoblastoma eye cancer can also affect one or both eyes. This disease occurs because there is a gene mutation in the retina that causes retinal cells to divide rapidly. This condition also causes these cells to spread to the eye tissue and other parts of the body. If this cancer attacks both eyes, it can usually be detected before the child is 1 year old. The sooner it is detected, the higher the cure rate in children.
Recognizing Eye Cancer in Children
Retinoblastoma eye cancer in children can occur, even in the uterus. Symptoms of this disease are generally seen since children under five years of age. In the early stages of growth, retinoblast cancer cells divide into new cells. After that, the cells will continue to develop into mature retinal cells. However, this process is abnormal in the condition of retinoblastoma eye cancer.
In this cancer, gene changes or mutations occur, so that cells grow continuously and out of control. Unfortunately, it is still not known exactly what causes gene mutations to occur. Apart from being passed down from parents, this disease can actually attack randomly or without any family history at all.
Inherited retinoblastoma eye cancer will generally affect both eyes of a child. Meanwhile, eye cancer that is not passed down from parents generally only affects one eye. So far, retinoblastoma is the only type of eye cancer scientifically proven to be genetic. This disease is generally characterized by characteristic eye symptoms.
Signs that appear in children who have retinoblastoma are leukocoria. This condition occurs when there is a white color in the pupil of the eye when exposed to light. In fact, the blood vessels behind the eye should glow red when exposed to light. In addition, this condition is also characterized by symptoms of red and swollen eyes, irregular movements of the right and left eyes, and the pupil is always wide open.
If you find symptoms resembling eye cancer in children, you should immediately go to the hospital for examination. Further tests are needed to confirm and diagnose the underlying disease. Retinoblastoma eye cancer is diagnosed using an examination using a tool called an ophthalmoscope. The purpose of this examination is to see the condition inside the eye, including checking for possible tumors in the child’s eye.
After that, a scan may also be done, namely through an eye ultrasound procedure, CT scan, or MRI. The severity of retinoblastoma differs based on the extent of spread and location of the cancer. The level of severity also determines the appropriate treatment steps or treatment for children with eye cancer.