White glow? Pink eye? Red eye? Consider Retinoblastoma-

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“The longer that retinoblastoma can grow before they’re diagnosed and treated, the more invasive they become”

Image result for image of retinoblastoma

A friend’s daughter was diagnosed with retinoblastoma as an infant. Because of his quick thinking and actions my classmate was able to identify his daughter’s eye cancer before it spread. Though his daughter’s “pink eye” was removed, no other therapy was needed.

Prompt diagnosis of retinoblastoma, childhood eye cancer, is a key to the management of this rare form of pediatric cancer.





I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Have you been diagnosed with cancer? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Delays in diagnosis worsen outlook for minority, uninsured pediatric retinoblastoma patients, study finds

“When the eye cancer retinoblastoma is diagnosed in racial and ethnic minority children whose families don’t have private health insurance, it often takes a more invasive, potentially life-threatening course than in other children, probably because of delays in diagnosis…

By analyzing data and tumor samples from 203 children across the United States who had been treated for retinoblastoma, the investigators found that the disease was more invasive at diagnosis in patients who were non-white, Hispanic, uninsured, or covered by Medicaid…

Retinoblastomas are tumors that develop during childhood in the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. There are about 350 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Treatment may require surgical removal of the affected eye and, if the disease is likely to spread, follow-up chemotherapy.

“The longer that retinoblastomas grow before they’re diagnosed and treated, the more invasive they become,” said the study’s lead author, Adam Green, MD, of DF/CHCC. “In this study, we used tumor invasiveness as an indicator of delays in disease diagnosis.”

Cancer prehabilitation is emerging as a method of better preparing patients for the often toxic and disabling effects of cancer treatment. Its place within the continuum of cancer care is rapidly being established.

If you were about to go on a ski trip but you hadn’t been on the slopes for a few years you might head to the gym to get your legs in shape. I have lots of friends who try to lose a few pounds before summer in an effort to look better when they put on a swimsuit. Both of these examples are prehabilitation.

Granted, a cancer diagnosis is much more serious than a ski trip or the beach but the idea is the same.


Cancer Prehabilitation is one or more therapies that each of us understands intuitively. Performing a certain exercise to prepare for surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation to improve the healing or the recovery time just makes sense. Learning about your cancer diagnosis in order to prepare emotionally and reduce anxiety and stress also makes sense.

For information about you or a loved one can pre-habilitate for his/her induction initial cancer therapy whether it’s surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply ASAP. 

thank you,

David Emerson

  • Long-term cancer survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Prehab Offers Faster Track to Recovery From Ca Treatment

Early data suggest that this “bundled” approach is effective. In a study published last October, colorectal cancer patients who took part in a prehab program that included regular aerobic exercise and strength training, a personalized nutrition program and protein supplementation, and guided relaxation, performed better on the six-minute walk test both before and after surgery than patients who received only standard postsurgical rehabilitation (Anesthesiology 2014;121[5]:937-947, PMID: 25076007)

Cancer Prehabilitation Improves Outcomes

“Prehabilitation is one or more interventions performed in a newly diagnosed cancer patient that are designed to improve physical and mental health outcomes as the patient undergoes treatment and beyond. Cancer prehabilitation uses a multidisciplinary approach combining exercise, nutritional, and psychological strategies to prepare patients for the challenges of cancer treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy…

In addition to improved physical and psychological health outcomes for oncology patients, cancer prehabilitation can reduce morbidity, increase treatment options, prevent hospital readmissions, and lower both direct and indirect healthcare costs attributed to cancer treatment...

Family conflicts, other non-physical worries before cancer surgery raise patients’ complication risk

“Meeting non-medical needs and improving quality of life ahead of operations can aid recovery and cut health care costs, a new study suggests. Quality of life as measured in the study is about more than happiness and how well people feel physically, a researcher says. It also includes the financial, spiritual, emotional, mental and social aspects of their lives and whether their needs are being met.”

10 Ways to Prepare for Surgery

  1. Be your best.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the surgery.
  3. Speak up.
  4. Learn about anesthesia.
  5. Ask about your diet.
  6. Know what to expect after surgery.
  7. Practice relaxation techniques.
  8. Plan for medications.
  9. Prepare your home.
  10. Pack a bag.

Effects of a combination of whey protein intake and rehabilitation on muscle strength and daily movements in patients with hip fracture in the early postoperative period

Elderly patients can be at risk of protein catabolism and malnutrition in the early postoperative period. Whey protein includes most essential amino acids and stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of resistance training in combination with whey protein intake in the early postoperative period…”

Understanding Prehabilitation, with Arash Asher, MD, and An Ngo-Huang, DO

“After cancer treatment, our rehabilitation program can help a person regain strength, physical functioning, and independence. However, there has recently been a new interest in prehabilitation, which is a personalized program of nutrition, exercise, and emotional support to help a person diagnosed with cancer prepare for treatment, such as surgery or radiation therapy…”

Intraarterial Chemotherapy for Retinoblastoma-Pros and Cons

Recent reports have raised some concerns about the risk of ocular vasculopathy, radiation-related toxicity, and the potential for metastatic disease (retinoblastoma relapse) after intraarterial chemotherapy.  

Image result for image of retinoblastoma

All therapies have pros and cons, risks and benefits. The challenge of the patient and/or survivor is to understand those risks and benefits in order to make the best possible decisions for them. Please remember that your oncologist or oncologic surgeon may be biased in favor of the therapy that he/she is recommending. I don’t intend for that statement to sound negative in any way. I’m simply saying that, in general, oncologists want to treat and surgeons want to cut. Its what they do.
It is the patient/caregiver’s job to sort through possible bias to figure out what is best for them.
This study/article linked and excerpted below reviews the potential benefits and risks related to intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma. While the treatment minimizes systemic toxicity as the chemotherapy is administered directly into the ophthalmic artery, recent studies show that the potential for metastatic diseases increases significantly.
I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. I work with cancer patients and their caregivers to research and understand therapy options, both conventional (FDA standard-of-care) as well as evidence-based, non-conventional therapies.
Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.


Recommended Reading:


“Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a rapidly developing cancer that develops in the cells of retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye.[1] In the developed world, Rb has one of the best cure rates of all childhood cancers (95-98%), with more than nine out of every ten sufferers surviving into adulthood…”

Pearls and pitfalls of intraarterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma.

Abstract- Retinoblastoma is a deadly eye cancer in children, leading to death in 50%-70% of children in undeveloped nations who are diagnosed with it. This malignancy is the most common intraocular tumor in childhood worldwide.

The good prognosis in developed nations is related to early detection and advanced treatments. With the advent of intraarterial chemotherapy, neurosurgeons have taken a central role in the treatment of this pediatric condition. Intraarterial chemotherapy is a novel treatment for retinoblastoma whereby chemotherapeutic agents are precisely delivered into the ophthalmic artery, minimizing systemic toxicity.

This procedure has shown impressive results and has allowed a dramatic decrease in the rate of enucleation (eye removal) in advanced and refractory retinoblastoma. Recent reports have raised some concerns about the risk of ocular vasculopathy, radiation-related toxicity, and the potential for metastatic disease after intraarterial chemotherapy. In the authors’ experience of more than 3 years, tumor control is excellent with globe salvage at 67% and vascular events less than 5%, mostly related to improvement in technique. The role of this novel approach in the management of retinoblastoma has yet to be defined. As more centers are adopting the technique, the topic will decidedly become the focus of intensive future research. In this paper, the authors review and discuss current data regarding intraarterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma.”


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