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One form of eye cancer can be detected with a common camera

9:57 PM, Apr 5, 2004   |    comments
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Eighteen-year-old Jessica Glago survived a recent battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma, but it's another childhood cancer she beat that's causing her to launch an awareness campaign. One in 600 kids are born with some form of eye disease that if not detected and treated can blind a child. Glago says red eye in a photo is a red flag for eye disease. A white dot in her left eye appeared in a picture captured by her mother. It later proved to be a tumor. "She thought it was just a camera glitch and had she only known then and had taken me to the doctor right away it's quite possible that I would have my vision right now in both my eyes and I wouldn't have had to lose my left eye," said Glago. Glago had retinoblastoma, an eye cancer affecting 300 kids in the US each year. The tumor originates in the retina. Caught early, it's 90 percent curable, but once it spreads, it's usually fatal. "The tumor was already on the optic nerve and it was growing into the brain," said Jen Glago, Jessica's mother. Jessica wants parents to pay attention to infant pictures. Odd reflections found in the photographs should be checked by an ophthalmologist. It may be cancer it may be glaucoma cataracts. Cataracts are ten times more prevalent than retinoblastoma, it just so happens that retinoblastoma can kill you. "If only I had known earlier but at least I was lucky and I didn't lose her," said Jessica's mother. retinoblastoma is usually found in kids, aged five and younger. It was the first cancer to be directly associated with a genetic abnormality. However, 90-percent of retinoblastoma patients, have no family history.

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