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by Wood D


Your child will likely be referred to a specialist for treatment. Without treatment, the cancer cells will continue to grow.
Treatment aims to cure the cancer and preserve sight. Options vary, depending on the stage. Therapies may be used alone or in combination.
Treatments include:


This involves surgical removal of the entire eye and as much of the optic nerve as possible. The optic nerve is the nerve leading from the eye to the brain that is responsible for vision. Surgery may be used for a large tumor in one eye.

Radiation Therapy

This treatment involves the use of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may be:
  • External radiation therapy—radiation directed at the tumor from a source outside the body
  • Internal radiation therapy—radioactive materials placed into the body near the cancer cells


Used on small tumors, cryotherapy is the use of cold to freeze and destroy cancer cells.


This treatment uses heat to kill cancer cells.


Lasers are used to destroy a small tumor.


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. This treatment may be given in many forms including pill, injection, and through a catheter. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells, but also some healthy cells.


American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute



BC Cancer Agency

Cancer Care Ontario



Retinoblastoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated September 13, 2013. Accessed November 8, 2013.

Clinical Oncology . 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone, Inc; 2000.

Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics . 16th ed. WB Saunders Co; 2000.

Ophthalmology . Mosby International Ltd; 1999.

Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology . 3rd ed. Lippincott-Raven Publishers; 1997.


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