Signs & Symptoms Retinoblastoma in Children

What is Retinoblastoma?


Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer commonly experienced by children, but can also be experienced by adults. Retinoblastoma invades the mesh of the eye or retina located on the inner eye wall. Retinoblastoma can attack one or both eyes.

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Most of these diseases occur in children under 5 years of age.

The human retina is formed by cells called retinoblasts. Cancer occurs because of a genetic mutation that keeps the retinoblasts reproducing until the tumor grows on the retina. 

This cancer can grow to all parts of the eye to spread to other body parts, such as the brain and spine.

Stages of development of this disease are as follows:
  • Intraocular retinoblastoma. This is an early stage of retinoblastoma disease. At this stage, retinoblastoma has not spread to the outer tissue of the eye.
  • extraocular retinoblastoma. At this stage, the cancer virus has spread beyond the eyes or to other parts of the body.
  • Recurrent retinoblastoma. After treatment, the cancer virus re-grows and spreads to the eyes or to other parts of the body.

Eye cancer primarily occurs in children at an early age, with 90% of cases being diagnosed before 5 years of age. Retinoblastoma is rare in adults.

Signs & symptoms retinoblastoma in Children


What are the signs and symptoms of eye cancer (retinoblastoma)?

Common symptoms of retinoblastoma can be leukokoria, which is white in the pupils of the eyes when exposed to light. Can also occur squint, swelling of the eyes, and red eyes. Immediately see a doctor if the condition of the child's eyes worsen, like red eyes that do not get better.

This disease can cause blindness and the emergence of other types of cancer in children who have had retinoblastoma. Cancer may reappear in healthy eyes or in other parts of the body. 

People with retinoblastoma will be advised to perform regular eye health checks, before and after treatment to minimize retinoblastoma recurrence.
Other signs include:
  • The eyes look like they're looking in different directions (lazy eye)
  • Redness of the eyes and swelling
  • The eyeball looks bigger than normal


There may be some signs and symptoms that are not mentioned above. Consult your doctor If you have concerns about a symptom or If the family has a history of the disease, make sure you check for early detection and treatment retinoblastoma. Each body works in a different way. It's good to discuss with the doctor what is best for your situation.

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