(picture, source: http://www.kellog.umich.edu)
When I took up RETINOBLASTOMA as a topic for my report at college, I was very excited. For a long time, I wanted to actually study the disease and know all about it.
BUT what surprised me is the strange look on my classmates faces when I told them of my choice. Masters in science students didn’t know what “Retinoblastoma” was. Most of them didn’t even know that the disease could be related to the “eye”. It was really shameful.
For those who don’t know, Retinoblastoma is a tumor of the retina (a delicate multi-layered lining of the inner eyeball). It mostly affects children less than 5 years of age. It starts with the appearance of white blotches in the eye (leukocoria) and can affect one or both the eyes. Most of the times the treatment is Enucleation, which means surgical removal of the eye.
What makes RETINOBLASTOMA a deadly disease is the fact that there is so less awareness about it. It is comparatively very rare than other cancers but it is a very cruelly crippling disease for the children. It can spread or metastasize outside of the eye to the brain, the spinal cord and even the bones.
If detected early, the treatment can be directed towards vision preservation. These days Chemotherapy, EBRT (external beam radiation therapy), Thermotherapy, Cryotherapy are being successfully used as the various treatment modalities.
EYES are the most beautiful organ that an human being can possess. They not only see but even talk, feel and do things that most of the organs can’t.
If masters students are unaware about the disease, how can you expect normal people to be aware of it???
Children are the future of every country. As responsible adults, it’s our duty that they are provided with a normal and healthy life. Their eyes need to learn and appreciate the nature’s beauty. They must be able to build a secure tomorrow for the betterment of the world.
It’s necessary that people know about retinoblastoma and it’s possible consequences.
It’s a request to all. If your child or anyone you know is suffering from the disease, or you are just curious, please spread the awareness.
Today there are so many sites on the internet that with just one click of the button you may get all the information that you need.
I know, for me, EYES are very important. Now, you think, how a young child of five will feel if he loses his eyes owing to retinoblastoma so early in his life.
For all the patients and their families, “Some people do care and God is with you always….”