Towards early detection of retinoblastoma

Freeman, Nicola ; Meyer, David (2014-12)

CITATION: Freeman, N. & Meyer, D. 2014. Towards early detection of retinoblastoma. South African Medical Journal, 104(12):856, doi:10.7196/SAMJ.8741.

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Survival rates for retinoblastoma (RB) in a region of South Africa (SA) of only 50% reflect the high frequency of late presentation, the simple reason for which is lack of effective screening. Early detection of suspected RB would significantly reduce this unacceptably high mortality rate. The SA health system has the expertise to manage a child with RB well. The issue at stake is timely referral of the affected child to one of the specialist treatment centres. Until universal screening with digital imaging becomes a reality, the red reflex test should be mandatory at discharge from all neonatal services and at all subsequent routine health supervision visits. Most RBs would then be detected early.

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