Awareness for Retinoblastoma by LV Prasad Eye Institute

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Bhubaneswar : L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) organized the sixth edition of the ‘WHITATHON’ walk on May 19to raise awarenessabout the early detection of and treatment of retinoblastoma (eye cancer) in children. The event commemorates the World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, observed betweenthe second and third Sundays of the month of May every year. This year over 180 enthusiastic participants joined the cause, demonstrating a strong community support for the event.

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that primarily affects children under three years of age. The treatment usually involves multiple expensive procedures and surgeries, with close monitoring over several months to years. Over the past decade, LVPEI has treated more than 2500 children affected by this eye cancer, about 60-65% of them at no cost to the patients. Annually, the institute treats 150 to 200 new cases of retinoblastoma, with about 40% of them at an advanced stage, and about 10% at a very advanced stage.These numbers underscore the lack of awareness of the disease as well as the need to promote it within the community. Early detection and treatment are crucial to ensure better outcomes for these children. Delayed diagnosis and treatment can lead to a fatal outcome.

WHITATHON:Whitathonis LVPEI’s annual cause-related event aimed at raising awareness for the early diagnosis and treatment of the life and vision-threatening eye cancer retinoblastoma in children. The event highlights the importance of early detection, as this cancer is fully curable if treated early in its course. The signature sign of retinoblastoma is a white reflex in the child’s eyewhich requires immediate medical attention.This reflex is seen as a white or yellowish-white glow that appears in the pupil (the central black part) of a child’s eye when light shines on it, especially in photos taken with a flash.There can sometimes be other signs like squinting of the eye, poor vision, or redness of the eye.

Support, Participation, and Sponsorship: The success of WHITATHON is attributed to the overwhelming participation and support from the community, sponsors, and several volunteers.

Supporters and sponsors for the event at Bhubaneswar for this year are Mankind Pharmaceuticals, Micro Labs Limited, EntodPharmaceuticals, Sunways India Private Limited, and the Aroh Foundation, Coimbatore.

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