Retinal Disorder

Eye and Retina

 

Cancer of the Retina, Retinoblastoma

Retinal disorder can come in different forms, but most of its, seeing that it has something to do with the eyes, all affect your sight, in varying degrees. One of the most serious retinal disorders is cancer in the retina.

Also known as Choroidal melanoma that affects your retina and starts from the melanocytes. This is the part of the eye that produces cells of the choroid. Our retina is dependent on the choroid for part of the blood supply and support. Initially, your eyesight will not be affected. It is possible, you can go through life without knowing you have cancer if it does not go further than the initial stage. The people most affected by this kind of cancer are blue eyed and light complexioned.

Like all other kinds of cancer, cancer in the retina can be fatal if it spreads to the rest of the body through the blood. A person can also get other forms of cancer from the tumor in the retina like breast cancer, prostate, or lung cancer.

The second stage of this condition is blurred vision and flashes of light, similar to actually seeing stars. At this point, it is important to see an ophthalmologist because an eye exam can detect the early stages and treatment can stop the development of the cancer.

An ophthalmologist can conduct an ultrasound or CT scan on the affected eye to determine the exact condition of the cancer. Through the eye exam and the photographs, he will be able to determine the size of the cancerous tumor, and assess whether eye surgery will be needed.

If found to be in the later stages, eye surgery to remove the eye will be advised to stop the spread of the cancer and risk a life-threatening condition. If the tumor is relatively small, radiation and laser treatment can be done to try to save the affected eye.

The other type of cancer that one can get in the eye is the retinablastoma which starts inside the eyeball. It usually affects young children, from 1 to 6 years old, and may not even be caused by genetics. However, if a parent has had a history of eye cancer, there is a 40% chance that it will be passed on to the child.

With this kind of eye cancer, it is highly possible to reverse the cancer and cure the child. This is because more often than not, the affected area is initially the white area of the eye, and so eyesight is not yet affected. The treatment for this kind of condition will depend on what stage the cancer is at.