Eye Cancer (Retinoblastoma) – Causes and Symptoms

Eye cancer is a malignant tumor on the retina. This disease occurs due to cells in eye tissue that grow out of control and their growth can spread to other areas. This type of cancer can occur in one or both eyes.

Causes of Eye Cancer

The cause of eye cancer that is known so far is due to mutations in genes in eye tissue, especially genes that regulate cell growth. Under normal conditions, cells will divide regularly and periodically to replace cells that have been damaged. To prevent cells from dividing wildly and uncontrollably, there are genes that regulate when cells start and stop dividing.

Eye cancer is caused by changes in DNA in genes that regulate cell division of eye tissue. DNA changes in these genes cause the cell division regulating gene to function, so that eye cells divide uncontrollably. However, until now the cause of DNA mutations in these genes is still unknown.

In addition to gene mutations, eye cancer can also be caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Someone who experiences high exposure to UV light also has a higher risk for experiencing melanoma.

Meanwhile, the risk of developing eye melanoma also increases with age. Most eye melanoma patients are diagnosed at the age of 50 years.

Who is at risk of suffering from eye cancer?

Eye cancer most often occurs in children under 5 years. As many as 200-300 children are diagnosed with eye cancer each year. Approximately 40% of all cases of eye cancer are genetic inheritance, this means that damaged cancer genes can be passed down from parent to child.

In some cases, 75% of cases of eye cancer occur in only one eye, while 25% of cases occur in both eyes. Eye cancer inherited from parents is more likely to involve both eyes. Meanwhile, eye cancer rarely occurs in adult oranges.

Symptoms of Eye Cancer

Symptoms of eye cancer vary, depending on the type of cancer suffered. Some symptoms that can occur in eye cancer include:

  • Pupils appear white when exposed to light. This can mean that there is a tumor in the retina. Blood vessels behind the eyes normally reflect red.
  • Pupils do not have a red appearance when photographed.
  • Eyes that cannot move or focus in the same direction.
  • Sore eyes.
  • Eye pupils continue to widen, whereas normally the pupils will shrink when exposed to light.
  • Red eye.

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