Is Retinoblastoma Cancer Inheritable?

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3 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Yes, it occurs when nerve cells in the retina develop genetic mutations which cause the cells to continue growing and multiplying when healthy cell would die. The accumulated cells form a tumor. In most cases, the causes for this cancer remain unknown. However, it’s very likely that children inherit a genetic mutation from their parents.
Which group of people does it usually affect?
Basically, it tends to be more commonly found among infants and small children. Once affected, they may experience: eye redness and eye swelling. Their eyes may appear to be looking in different directions. Some even report a white color in the pupils when light is shone in the eye.
My 5-year-old nephew was recently diagnosed with this disease. We are all so worried about his condition and quite afraid that he might lose his sight forever. The doctor suggests laser therapy, but most of our family members are not sure whether it’s OK for a young kid to go through a surgery like this.
Hey, don’t worry! Laser therapy is quite safe compared to other types of surgeries. It won’t take very long to conduct such as surgery and is proven very effective to destroy blood vessels that support oxygen and nutrients to the tumor. If you’re not sure about the details, you may as well consult the doctor for more info. Good luck!
Treatment varies from case to case depending on the severity of the disease. Laser therapy is a quite common option. Moreover, the doctor may also suggest chemotherapy, radiation therapy (e.g. internal radiation, external beam radiation, etc), cold treatments or even surgeries (to remove the affected eye, to place an eye implant or fitting an artificial eye) if necessary. Whatever choice you make, be sure that it is the conclusion based on your doctor’s advice and your family’s preference.
It is a well-established technique. Traditionally, doctors would remove eyeballs with this condition. It is brutal and patients lose eyesight. This is only nowadays reserved for very large tumors. Doctors use lasers to ablate this tumor, as they do for patients with diabetic retinopathy. It sounds scary to use lasers to mess with eyes, but it has been used extensively clinically.