Children with eye cancer can avoid chemotherapy

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India has 30% of world’s total eye cancer patients
• CFS launches first National Referral Centre for Ocular Oncology

In what could mark a paradigm shift in cancer treatment, doctors have said that children with eye cancer can safely escape the painful post surgery chemotherapy. Most of the retinoblastoma (eye cancer of retina) patients are very young children with the average age at diagnosis at 2 – about 1500 cases are reported every year. However more than 90% of patients are cured.

Doctors participating in a seminar on eye cancer, organized by Centre for Sight (CFS), a leading eye care hospital chain, citing research said that that some children with low-risk retinoblastoma who are treated with surgery can safely skip post-surgery chemotherapy without the disease returning or spreading. And those with intermediate or high-risk retinoblastoma can undergo a less aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

Dr Mahipal Sachdev, Chairman and Medical Director, Center for Sight, said, “This is a super speciality ophthalmology meet, featuring live surgeries, international and national faculty and interactive sessions which brings together 50 experts and 150 doctors from different parts of the country. The meet aims to educate and update the ophthalmologist.” The two-day Oncologists meet will deliberate on various technological advancements in field of Facial Aesthetic, Oculoplasty, Eye Cancer and Squint Eyes. This brings about a new ray of hope for many who crave for beautiful eyes.

“Sometimes problems which relate to vital structures around the eyes like eyelids, tear drainage system, orbit etc. take a back seat. So understanding the variety of diseases which affect these structures requires specialized training which is available in only select few centers across the country,” Sachdev added.

Dr Sachdev reiterated that CFS is associated with few of the best super specialists in the field of Oculoplasty, who have rich experience in dealing with all kinds of deformities of eyelids caused by diseases or trauma. Apart from these, Oculoplasty surgeons also cater to the needs of people desiring cosmetic enhancement of their eyes like restoring sagging eyelids, removing under eye bags or lifting droopy eyelids.

Sharing details on Eye Cancer, Dr Santosh G Honavar, first formally trained Comprehensive Ocular Oncologist in India, and Director, Medical Services at CFS said, “India which has 16% of the world population has the dubious distinction of being host to about 30% of the total eye cancer patients in the world with an estimated 10,000 new cases diagnosed every year. Unfortunately we do not have the infrastructure and trained manpower to deal with this emerging crisis and CFS is committed to upgrade its expertise to address this.”

Dr Honovar added that eye cancer is a life-altering disease – it not just can potentially wipe out the vision but also can endanger the eye and the life. Every year, thousands of children and adults are diagnosed to have some form of eye cancer. India harbors a big tumor burden but lacks an organized approach to cost-effective and protocol-based management.

“When detected early, complete cure of eye cancer is possible with appropriate treatment. A few decades ago, retinoblastoma was considered to be uniformly fatal, while the current management strategy is able to save life in over 95% of children, salvage the eye in 90% and save vision in earlier stages in 85%. Similarly, multi-specialty approach and protocol-based management have reduced the recurrence rate of eyelid, ocular surface and orbital tumors to <5% and overall mortality to <2%. Our public awareness campaigns will hopefully help in early diagnosis,” Dr Honovar said.

Dr. Renu Grover, Consultant – Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, CFS who deals with conditions related to misalignment of the eyes, also known as Strabismus, said¸ “Squint is not only cosmetically unacceptable, but affects other eye functions such as binocular vision and depth perception-each of which can rob you of fine vision and make you unfit for various professions. It is an easily correctable condition and requires prompt medical evaluation.”

About CFS

Since its inception in 1996 Centre for Sight is committed to deliver best quality care with personalized touch and cutting edge technology, to enhance patient satisfaction and to provide continual improvement in its services. With these values in place, Centre for Sight has become India’s leading eye care network with 45 centres across India. Centre for Sight has grown from a single eye care facility to India’s leading eye care network & the largest LASIK Laser vision correction centres across Asia, Africa & Australia.

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