Finding retinoblastoma early

When retinoblastoma is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Take your child for regular health checkups and tell the doctor if you are concerned about your child’s health.

Your child may need a personal plan for testing if they have a higher than average risk. Children with a parent or sibling with retinoblastoma or children with a known retinoblastoma 1 (RB1) gene mutation have a higher than average risk of developing retinoblastoma. Talk to your child’s doctor about tests that can help find retinoblastoma early, including the following:

  • eye exam
  • blood test to check for the RB1 gene mutation
  • MRI

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Early Detection, Diagnosis and Staging. 2015.
  • American Cancer Society. Causes, Risk Factors and Prevention. 2015.
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Retinoblastoma - Childhood. 2017:
  • Canadian Retinoblastoma Society . National Retinoblastoma Strategy Canadian Guidelines for Care. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. NRC Research Press; 2009.
  • Cancer Research UK. Eye cancer (retinoblastoma). Cancer Research UK; 2015.
  • Hurwitz RL, Shields CL, Shields JA et al . Retinoblastoma. Pizzo PA & Poplack DG (eds.). Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer; 2016: 27: 700-725.
  • Isidro MA. Medscape Reference: Retinoblastoma Workup. 2016.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support. Retinoblastoma in children. 2016.
  • National Cancer Institute. Retinoblastoma Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2016.

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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