Ocular cancer occurs in one in 15,000 live births. It mainly affects children under 3 years of age. It starts as a white reflection in the pupil of one or both eyes. It is usually detected by parents. If not discovered and treated early, children may lose one or both eyes and even the life as this cancer metastasizes to the brain and bones. The Eye Cancer Program at Hospital Infantil San Vicente Fundacion is saving children from blindness and death.
Eye cancer in children is a highly aggressive malignancy, difficult to treat, and it can cause death and childhood blindness. Historically, it has been managed with external radiotherapy, enucleation (eye removal) and systemic chemotherapy. Side effects include hair loss, risk of infection, pain and bleeding.
Hospital San Vicente is a pioneer in Colombia in the treatment of ophthalmic intra-arterial chemotherapy for cancer of the eye. Our hospital has the highest number of cases and experience in the application of ophthalmic intra- arterial chemotherapy and transpupilar laser therapy.
Up-to-date we have been treated 43 children with an eye salvage rate above 80%. Even in very advanced cases we have been able to avoid blindness in more than 30 children in less than 5 years. 82% of the participating population are low income families. We want to continue having a positive impact in the lives of children with eye cancer. With the money we raise together, children with eye cancer in Colombia and can avoid the removal of one or both eyes, blindness or death.