Retinoblastoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Retinoblastoma
Treatment for both forms of retinoblastoma should include genetic counseling.
Parents should receive genetic counseling (a discussion with a trained professional about genetic diseases) to discuss whether genetic testing is needed and the risk of retinoblastoma for the child's brothers or sisters.
A child who has heritable retinoblastoma has an increased risk of trilateral retinoblastoma and other cancers.
A child with heritable retinoblastoma is also at risk for a tumor in the brain. This is called trilateral retinoblastoma and usually occurs more than 20 months after retinoblastoma is diagnosed. Regular screening using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) every 6 months for 5 years may be done for a child thought to have heritable retinoblastoma or for a child with retinoblastoma in one eye and a family history of the disease. CT scans (computerized tomography) should not be used for routine screening to avoid exposing the child to ionizing radiation. Heritable retinoblastoma also increases the child's risk of other types of cancer such as bone or soft tissue sarcoma or melanoma in later years. Regular follow-up exams are important.
Signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma include "white pupil" and eye pain or redness.
These and other signs and symptoms may be caused by retinoblastoma or by other conditions. Check with a doctor if your child has any of the following:
- Pupil of the eye appears white instead of red when light shines into it. This may be seen in flash photographs of the child.
- Eyes appear to be looking in different directions (lazy eye).
- Pain or redness in the eye.
Tests that examine the retina are used to detect (find) and diagnose retinoblastoma.
The following tests and procedures may be used: