Retinoblastoma is a type of eye cancer.

Retinoblastoma most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Around 45 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma in the UK every year.

Children with both eyes affected are usually diagnosed in the first year of life. Those with one eye affected tend to be diagnosed a bit later, often between 2 and 3 years.

Although this can be very distressing and frightening for the child and their parents, more than 9 out of 10 children are cured.

  • ‘retino’ means from the retina
  • ‘blast’ means cells in early development
  • ‘oma’ means a group of cells, or a tumour

One eye can be affected, which is called unilateral retinoblastoma.

Bilateral retinoblastoma is when both eyes are affected.


Most Common Symptoms

The two most common symptoms of Retinoblastoma are –

  • The child may have a squint.
  • The child’s pupil may look strange.

The child may seem well in themselves and usually do not complain of any pain. The eye(s) affected may look like a cat’s eye that is reflecting the light, it may look white instead of the normal red when a picture is taken with a flash.


For further guidance about Retinoblastoma, speak to your General Practitioner.