The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust are wanting to boost awareness and cut the existing delays they are witnessing in the diagnosis of eye cancer in children.A new opticians protocol has been produced on suspected retinoblastoma which the CHECT are urging all practicing opticians to read and implement.While they stress that health practitioners are indeed referring children correctly once retinoblastoma is suspected there are many families with small children who are experiencing considerable delays in getting appointments ,or else, they are experiencing staff, unaware of symptoms, that are turning the referrals away when they should be prioritized for urgent examination.It is encouraging that from the CHECT report of two years ago, all of the opticians who examined retinoblastoma in children prior to formal diagnosis, made the correct referral with the appropriate information to expedite diagnosis and treatment.The aim of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust is to guarantee that no child with symptoms of the eye cancer is ever turned away from their first contact point optician without the relevant information to pursue further advice.
They stress that the main symptoms of retinoblastoma should be familiar to all staff. These are a squint that may have developed, where before there was none, an abnormal reflex flash within the eye in photographs which has recently hot social media sited and has assisted in identifying early onset eye cancer. also any change in colour to the iris of the eye and loss of vision should be noted.
The protocol is supported by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the College of Optometrists. The protocol can be downloaded here: