Remember taking family snaps and discarding the ones that were burn out / over exposed or had red eye or white eye? With modern digital camera's this is an easy process now so that only the very best shots are used to print.
However, research has now thrown up that the evidence of white eye in a digital photo is also evidence of the early onset of retinoblastoma. The study that was completed using a normal digi-cam have now opened the doors for a new tool to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of retinoblastoma in children. This is an aggressive eye cancer that can present from birth to five years of age and can prove fatal if not detected and it spreads as far as the brain. Survivors of the disease can still suffer vision loss and it is vision preservation via early detection which is key.It was found that infants with the condition persistently display leukocoria ( white eye ) in photographs. It was previously thought that white eye was an advanced stage presenting symptom but this has now been dis-proved.
It is encouraging that a simple device like an amateur dig cam can be one of the most effective detection methods and is accountable for many parents initiating the health screening on seeing the photographs of their young ones. From the study researchers ave been able to create the first quantitative scale of leukocoria by which to evaluate the intensity of retinoblastoma-linked leukocoria.