BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuRetinoblastomaTumor - retina; Cancer - retina; Eye cancer - retinoblastomaRetinoblastoma is a rare eye tumor that usually occurs in children. It is a malignant (cancerous) tumor of the part of the eye called the retina. Causes Retinoblastoma is caused by a mutation in a gene that controls how cells divide. As a result, cells grow out of control and become cancerous.In about half the cases, this mutation develops in a child whose family has never had eye cancer. In other cases, the mutation occurs in several family members. If the mutation runs in the family, there is a 50% chance that an affected person's children will also have the mutation. These children will therefore have a high risk of developing retinoblastoma themselves.The cancer most often affects children younger than 7 years old. It is most commonly diagnosed in children 1 to 2 years old. Symptoms One or both eyes may be affected.The pupil of the eye may appear white or have white spots. A white glow in the eye is often seen in photographs taken with a flash. Instead of the typical "red eye" from the flash, the pupil may appear white or distorted.Other symptoms can include:Crossed eyes Crossed eyesStrabismus is a disorder in which both eyes do not line up in the same direction. Therefore, they do not look at the same object at the same time. ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Double vision Eyes that do not align Eye pain and redness Poor vision Poor visionThere are many types of eye problems and vision disturbances, such as: Halos Blurred vision (the loss of sharpness of vision and the inability to see...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Differing iris colors in each eye IrisThe iris is the colored part of the eye. It is located between the cornea and lens. The round, central opening of the iris is called the pupil. Ve...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article If the cancer has spread, bone pain and other symptoms may occur. Exams and Tests The health care provider will perform a complete physical exam, including an eye exam. The following tests may be done:CT scan or MRI of the head CT scanA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MRI of the headA head MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the brain and surrounding...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Eye exam with dilation of the pupil Ultrasound of the eye (head and eye echoencephalogram) UltrasoundUltrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of organs and structures inside the body.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Head and eye echoencephalogramAn eye and orbit ultrasound is a test to look at the eye area. It also measures the size and structures of the eye.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment Treatment options depend on the size and location of the tumor:Small tumors may be treated by laser surgery or cryotherapy (freezing). Laser surgeryLaser therapy is a medical treatment that uses a strong beam of light to cut, burn, or destroy tissue. The term LASER stands for light amplification...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Radiation is used for both a tumor that is within the eye and for larger tumors. Chemotherapy may be needed if the tumor has spread beyond the eye. ChemotherapyThe term chemotherapy is used to describe cancer-killing drugs. Chemotherapy may be used to:Cure the cancer Shrink the cancerPrevent the cancer from...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The eye may need to be removed (a procedure called enucleation) if the tumor does not respond to other treatments. In some cases, it may be the first treatment. Outlook (Prognosis) If the cancer has not spread beyond the eye, almost all people can be cured. A cure, however, may require aggressive treatment and even removal of the eye in order to be successful.If the cancer has spread beyond the eye, the likelihood of a cure is lower and depends on how the tumor has spread. Possible Complications Blindness can occur in the affected eye. The tumor can spread to the eye socket through the optic nerve. It may also spread to the brain, lungs, and bones. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if signs or symptoms of retinoblastoma are present, especially if your child's eyes look abnormal or appear abnormal in photographs. Prevention Genetic counseling can help families understand the risk for retinoblastoma. It is especially important when more than one family member has had the disease, or if retinoblastoma occurs in both eyes.Open ReferencesReferencesHoughton O, Gordon K. Ocular tumors. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 64.Kim JW, Mansfield NC, Murphree AL. Retinoblastoma. In: Schachat AP, Sadda SR, Hinton DR, Wilkinson CP, Weidemann P, eds. Ryan's Retina. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 132.Nischal KK. Ophthalmology. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire SC, Nowalk AJ, Garrison J, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 20.Tarek N, Herzog CE. Retinoblastoma. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 529.AllVideoImagesTogEye - illustration The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.EyeillustrationEye - illustration The eye is the organ of sight, a nearly spherical hollow globe filled with fluids (humors). The outer layer or tunic (sclera, or white, and cornea) is fibrous and protective. The middle layer (choroid, ciliary body and the iris) is vascular. The innermost layer (the retina) is nervous or sensory. The fluids in the eye are divided by the lens into the vitreous humor (behind the lens) and the aqueous humor (in front of the lens). The lens itself is flexible and suspended by ligaments which allow it to change shape to focus light on the retina, which is composed of sensory neurons.EyeillustrationRelated Information Tumor(Condition)Blindness and vision loss(Symptoms)Proton therapy(Special Topic) Review Date: 10/28/2021 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. 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