Bhubaneswar : L V Prasad Eye Institute’s MithuTulsiChanrai Campus in Bhubaneswar is organizing a Retinoblastoma (Eye Cancer) Awareness Walk on 21st May, 2023. This walk is part of the ‘Whitathon’ event organized by L V Prasad Eye Institute across its campuses in Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. Celebrity actor, Mr Sabyasachi Mishra, interacted with Retinoblastoma survivors at the campus.
Whitathon is L V Prasad Eye Institute’s annual cause-related event focused on raising awareness for early diagnosis and treatment of retinoblastoma – a life and vision-threatening eye cancer that occurs in small children. The commonest presenting sign of retinoblastoma is the White Reflex (or, 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 an early sign of eye cancer that needs an immediate eye examination and investigation. Hence, the event is named ‘Whitathon’.
Dr Devjyoti Tripathy, 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 within the community. No child should die of eye cancer because of lack of awareness and delayed diagnosis and treatment. We extend our sincere thanks toMr Sabyasachi Mishra for joining us for the Retinoblastoma Awareness Walk and helping us spread this awareness. We also acknowledge the support received from several other philanthropic organizations and individuals as well as from government agencies for our retinoblastoma patients.”
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 signs of possible eye cancer that could otherwise be easily dismissed as being non-significant. 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 nearly half of the cases worldwide lose their lives due to late detection and inadequate treatment, mostly in the lower middle-income and lower income countries of the world
· Retinoblastoma is fully curable if detected and treated early, thus saving the life, eye, and vision of the child
· Over the past decade, LVPEI, Bhubaneswar has treated more than 400 new patients with retinoblastoma eye cancer
· Though it was possible to save the life of the child in 80% of the cases, the eyesight of the child could be saved in only 45% of the cases, the chief reason being the late presentation for treatment
· Hence, it is important to raise awareness about the common signs of retinoblastoma in children and educate the community (especially young parents) on the importance of seeking timely medical consultation if eye cancer is suspected in a small child
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