When Jasmin Nethercoat had her photograph taken on her first birthday, little did her parents realise the picture would save her sight.
Her mother Vicki had the photograph developed – only to notice a strange spot reflected in her daughter’s left eye.
After seeing an optician, a GP and a specialist, the family was sent to Great Ormond Street Hospital where doctors found cancerous tumours in both of Jasmin’s eyes.
There was a risk that she would lose the sight in her left eye to the cancer, called retinoblastoma, and so within two weeks she had begun chemotherapy.
Retinoblastoma (RB) is the most common eye cancer in children and it can be inherited.
Although the most common eye cancer in children, retinoblastoma is quite rare and occurs in approximately 1 in every 20,0000 births.
The goal with retinoblastoma is early detection to maximize the visual outcome and the quality of life of the affected child. Fortunately, the survival rate for affected children is 96%.
In order to achieve our goal of early detection, we believe it is important to educate the public and other health professionals on the signs that might manifest themselves with a child that has retinoblastoma. We encourage people to share this information with others as many of the signs are very subtle and may not be picked up even by a health professional, due to the rarity of this disease.
EARLY DETECTION IS THE KEY!!!!
Common signs of retinoblastoma include:
- a white “glow” or “glint” in the pupil of one or both eyes in dim lighting
- white pupil in a color photo
- crossed or misaligned eyes
This photo shows the “white glow” often indicating the presence of a tumor. If you notice this white glow in any of your children’s photos, please contact your pediatrician or ophthalmologist immediately and have their eyes examined. Request pupil dilation of both eyes. If your physician is unable or unwilling to do the pupil dilation, please insist on a referral.