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Retinoblastoma

A potentially fatal condition that every parent should know about.

Retinoblastoma is a relatively uncommon tumor of childhood that accounts for about 3% of the cancers in children under the age of 15. However, death can occur in 10 to 15% of cases, so it is worth raising the alarm. The tumors originate in the retina, which is the inside lining of the eye. They usually occur in one eye, but can occur in both eyes. There is some connection to family history, but the majority of cases have no family history. In 50% of cases, leukocoria (a white reflex in the eye, instead of a normal red reflex) can be seen and is what usually prompts parents to bring in their children. The best way to check for retinoblastoma is to have your child get a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor.