Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mum issues warning after discovering daughter’s eye cancer

I had no idea it's World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week this week.

To be honest, I'm not even sure what Retinoblastoma is.

But when I was contacted about a campaign currently running by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust together with Vision Express urging parents to ensure their children have regular eye tests, I not only learnt a lot very quickly but realised the need to share the information widely.

Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a form of cancer that affects babies and children aged under six. In a poll of more than 1,000 parents, two out of three parents weren’t aware that a squint or lazy eye can be a symptom of an aggressive eye cancer in children and only 35 per cent identified a squint as one of the signs of Rb.


Eliza Thomas was three years old when she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in 2015 and she had her left eye removed to save her life.

Her mum took Eliza to the optician because she had a squint that seemed to be getting worse. But she admits that she didn’t expect there to be anything seriously wrong.

“We didn’t really think anything of it and assumed the worst thing that would happen was that she’d be given corrective glasses or a patch to wear over her eye. But when the optician examined her she saw what looked like a tumour growing in her eye and told us to take her to hospital immediately. As I rushed Eliza to A&E that evening all I could think about was that my little girl might have cancer.”

The worried family then visited three different hospitals before they finally received the diagnosis they feared most – Eliza had eye cancer. The doctors told April that it was too late to try other treatments such as chemo or laser therapy and that the only way to save Eliza was to remove her eye.

The operation went well and tests showed that the cancer hadn’t spread. Eliza didn’t need any further treatment, but she would need regular check-ups. A few weeks later Eliza was fitted with a temporary artificial eye, in order for here to get used to it before having a more permanent one made for her.

Three years on, Eliza is doing very well and fully embracing her ‘magic eye’. She still has to undergo regular check-ups every 6 months, where specialist eye doctors monitor her progress and her vision.

KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CHILD’S VISION – A SQUINT OR LAZY EYE ARE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF AN AGGRESSIVE EYE CANCER IN CHILDREN.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...