Gabriel Aguiar, 3, Retinoblastoma - Simon Plestenj
A simple picture is the greatest ally in the diagnosis of retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye that affects mainly children under 05 years.
Because of the tumor, which is housed in the eyeball, the pupil reflex changes to be recorded in the photos. Instead of "red eye" common in flash photography, who has the tumor away with a white color in sight.
"Examination of the fundus is very important and gives a more reliable diagnosis, but the white reflection is the most obvious sign. Parents need to inform and be vigilant" - says Carla Macedo, pediatric oncologist, GRAACC´s Hospital.
That's how Cleiciane Aguiar, mother of little Gabriel, now three years, discovered the child's disease.
A picture was taken by Gabriel to 11 months, a reflection of the eye was white, which made his mother take him to a query, so the eye doctor diagnosed the problem. The boy was referred for treatment in hospital GRAACC and today is healed.
"At first I did not know anything about the disease, and it was very difficult to get the news. Fortunately, Gabriel responded well to treatment and today leads a normal life" explains Cleiciane.
The early diagnosis and treatment greatly increase the chances that the child will recover almost without sequelae. Most cases in Brazil, only discovered in later stages.
The GRAACC´s Hospital is a referral in treating this type of case in Latin America, surpassing many hospitals, other continents, the number of patients seen.
In 2011, the GRAACC´s Hospital now offer their patients a new treatment for advanced intraocular retinoblastoma. The new treatment is already used in reference centers in Japan, USA and Europe, reduced rates of surgical removal of the eyeball, which usually occur due to late diagnosis. Through the procedure, chemotherapy drugs are applied directly to the tumor - taken by a catheter inserted into the femoral artery in the patient's leg, which runs through the body until you reach the ophthalmic artery. The result is reduction of side effects and longer shelf life of vision.
In Brazil, about 400 new cases of retinoblastoma per year. About 90% of the GRAACC patients are treated for free and with service excellence.