Life After Retinoblastoma, Is It Really Over?

It gives exquisite joy to parents knowing that their child survived retinoblastoma treatment. The child’s normal eyesight is finally restored and the doctors have given a positive report, but like any recovery stage from a severe illness, the patient still needs to be closely monitored in order to boost the patient’s immune system and restore their normal healthy state.

Here are some important reminders for parents with kids who survived eye cancer.

Follow-through Doctors’ Appointments

Although medication has stopped, it is very important for parents to show up every doctor’s appointment for the medical team to continue to monitor the patient. The recurrence of cancer and side-effects of the treatments need close monitoring. Likewise, parents need to inform the doctor of any noticeable changes they see from their child after the treatment to prevent any misconceptions.

Keep Patient’s Medical Records Intact

All medical reports before, during and after the treatment must be kept in one place. This is for easy reference as the child grows. As an adult, medical check-up cannot be avoided year after year. With records handy, it will be easier for them to trace patient’s medical background. Some important information to be kept are the following:

  • Pathology report from biopsies and surgeries (if applicable)
  • Copy of operative report if surgery was undertaken
  • Discharge summaries from hospital admissions
  • List of medication given during chemotherapy (if applicable)
  • List of dosage and types given during radiation therapy (if applicable)
  • Names and contact information of doctors who gave treatment

Have Genetic Counseling

Most doctors would recommend the family to have genetic counseling. This will give the family a sound medical advice and calculated risks for the eye cancer survivor to develop second cancer later on. The counselor on genetics will review the family’s medical history. This is to predict likelihood that genes causing pediatric retinoblastoma might be inherited and passed on to other family members.

Undergo Genetic Testing

The genetic counselor might also suggest genetic testing for other children in the family. The results of the genetic testing should also be kept together with all other medical records.

Going through the battle against pediatric retinoblastoma is a long process for the family. Cancers are common among children and the negative effects are highly unpredictable; some cancers recur and can be deadly as the last time. You can secure your child’s health by taking better care of them through regular appointments with doctors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the whole family.