Hyderabad, May 9, UNI | 3 months ago

Over 5000 children suffer from retinoblastoma across the world, of which India accounts for 30 to 50 per cent with an estimated 1500- 2000 new cases every year, says Dr Swathi Kaliki, Consultant Ocular Oncologist, LV Prasad Eye Institute.

LVPEI is organising a series activities as part of the seventh World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week from May 11-18 to bring public focus on the eye disease that affects children between the age group of 0 and 5 years, he said in a release here yesterday.

Retinoblastoma is the most common type of childhood eye cancer affecting one in 15,000 live births and its causes can be both hereditary and non-hereditary. Almost 90 per cent of children with the disease are diagnosed before 5 years of age and its diagnosis above 6 years is extremely rare, she said.

Considering that 80 per cent of the retinoblastoma cases are first recognised by family members, and less than 20 per cent are diagnosed through medical check up, it is critical for family members to be aware of the symptoms.

On May 14, between 1500 hrs and 17 hrs, experts at L V Prasad Eye Institute will interact with discerning people - by means of a public forum - to provide all the relevant information and create awareness on retinoblastoma.

On May 15, between 1000 hrs to 1300 hrs, an educational programme is being organised for health care workers to equip them in identifying retinoblastoma early, and with their help percolate the information to the rest of the community, Dr Swathi said.

Early diagnosis and proper treatment in the initial stages can help in complete cure if detected in the early stage, she added.

(Posted on 09-05-2014)