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Retinoblastoma is a rare, malignant tumor of the retina that occurs in one or both eyes, usually in children between ages 2 and 3. Because retinoblastoma is often inherited, you should seek genetic counseling before having children if you know that the disorder runs in your family. If you already have a child, have his or her eyes examined by an ophthalmologist soon after birth, and tell the doctor about your family history of retinoblastoma.


Early detection and treatment with medication, radiation therapy, laser therapy (treatment using a highly concentrated beam of light), or cryotherapy (freezing) can be effective. If the cancer is advanced, the doctor may recommend surgical removal of the eye (enucleation) to remove the tumor and help prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body. After the eye has been removed, the child may need to have radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

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