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  • Definition

    Retinoblastoma is a rare, cancerous tumor of a part of the eye called the retina.

    Alternative Names

    Tumor - retina; Cancer - retina

    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Retinoblastoma is caused by a mutation in a gene controlling cell division, causing cells to grow out of control and become cancerous.

    In a little over half of the cases, this mutation develops in a child whose family has never had eye cancer.

    Other times the mutation is present in several family members. If the mutation runs in the family, there is a 50% chance that an affected person's children will also have the mutation. They will therefore have a high risk of developing retinoblastoma themselves.

    The cancer generally affects children under the age of 6. It is most commonly diagnosed in children aged 1 - 2 years.