To raise awareness about Retinoblastoma (eye cancer of children)
Bhubaneswar, 9th May, 2022: L V Prasad Eye Institute’s MithuTulsiChanrai Campus in Bhubaneswar organized a Retinoblastoma Awareness Walk on 8th May 2022. This walk is part of the ‘Whitathon’ event organized by LV Prasad Eye Institute across its campuses in Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. Celebrity actor, Mr Sabyasachi Mishra, will be flagging off the walk.
Whitathon is L V Prasad Eye Institute’s annual cause-related event focusing on raising awareness and funds for early diagnosis and treatment of Retinoblastoma – a Life and Vision-threatening Eye Cancer in Children. One of the most common symptoms of Retinoblastoma is White Reflex (white glow) in a child’s eye. Through this walk, LVPEI aims to raise awareness among the public that if they spot a ‘White Reflex’ in a child’s eye, it could be a sign of eye cancer that needs immediate medical intervention. Hence, the event is named ‘Whitathon’.
Dr DevjyotiTripathy, Ocular Oncologist, MithuTulsiChanrai Campus,Bhubaneswar, L V Prasad Eye Institute said, “Our aim is to raise awareness about early detection and treatment of retinoblastoma eye cancer in children. No child should die of eye cancer because of lack of awareness and treatment. We extend our sincere thanks toMr Sabyasachi Mishra for joining us for the Retinoblastoma Awareness Walk and spreading awareness about Retinoblastoma. We also acknowledge the support received from Aroh – Giving Hope, an NGO working for children with Cancer and their families.”
Dr Tripathy further added that it is time to make detailed eye check-ups a part of mandatory paediatric examinations. Parents and physicians should be educated about symptoms that could otherwise be easily dismissed as an infection. There is a need for increased awareness about this life-threatening disease among parents and the community at large.
Need to raise awareness about Retinoblastoma:
- Retinoblastoma (eye cancer) most commonly affects children below 3 years of age (90%)
- 20 to 25% of cases of eye cancer worldwide in children are from India, and 50% of cases worldwide lose their lives due to late detection and inadequate treatment
- Retinoblastoma is curable if the tumour is detected and treated early; thus saving the life, eye, and vision of the child
- Over the past decade, LVPEI has treated more than 2000 patients with retinoblastoma eye cancer
- Though it was possible to save the life of the child in 90% of the cases, the eyesight of the child could be saved in only 45% of the cases, the reason being late presentation of the case
- Hence, it is important to raise awareness about the common symptoms of retinoblastoma in children and educate the public (specially young parents) on the importance of seeking timely medical care
Need to raise funds:
- Retinoblastoma treatment is expensive and long in duration
- Over 60 to 65% of patient families cannot afford the expense of the treatment
- Thanks to the funds received from such cause-related events and donations, LVPEI is able to provide free treatment to children from underprivileged families