What are the symptoms of retinoblastoma?

Symptoms can vary, but often include:
  • Leukocoria: sometimes called cat’s eye. When a light is shined into the pupil, the center of the eye appears to glow white.
  • Strabismus: also called wandering or lazy eye
  • Pain, redness or swelling around the eye or eyes
  • Vision changes or poor vision

How is retinoblastoma diagnosed?

If a doctor thinks that your child may have retinoblastoma, your child will need further testing to confirm the diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. The most common tests for retinoblastoma are:
  • A complete eye exam and medical history
  • Funduscopic examination. While your child is under anesthesia, the doctor will dilate your child’s pupils to view and examine the retina.
  • Ultrasound of the eye
  • Computed tomography [CT or CAT] scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Blood tests
  • Genetic and DNA testing
The diagnosis of retinoblastoma also involves staging and classifying the disease, which determines treatment options and prognosis. Staging is the process of determining whether cancer has spread and, if so, how far. Staging methods vary, and we will recommend further tests and a course of action depending on your child’s specific case.

What screening tests are available for retinoblastoma?

No screening tests are widely recommended for retinoblastoma, but it may be detected during a routine physical or eye exam. For children at an increased risk for hereditary retinoblastoma, increased monitoring during early life may help detect it at early stages.
Pediatric Support Services

Pediatric Support Services

Our Pediatric Support Center team addresses the social and emotional needs of your child and provides support to the whole family, including siblings. We provide a compassionate environment, engaging activities and a range of complementary therapies to make sure your child remains psychologically healthy during the treatment process and beyond.

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