Enucleation, radiation therapy, thermotherapy, photocoagulation, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, or a combination of these options are some of the treatments available for people with retinoblastoma. The most appropriate treatment for a particular patient will vary based of factors such as the stage of the cancer, how likely it is that vision can be saved, and the size and number of tumors.
Different types of treatment are available for retinoblastoma. The options vary based on factors such as:
- The retinoblastoma stage (see Retinoblastoma Stages)
- How likely it is that vision can be saved in one or both eyes
- The size and number of tumors.
Your doctor can describe the treatment choices and the expected results of each. You and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your child's medical needs and your personal values. Choosing the most appropriate treatment for retinoblastoma is a decision that ideally involves the patient, family, and healthcare team.
Many people want to take an active part in making decisions about their child's medical care. They want to learn all they can about retinoblastoma and the treatments that may be available. However, the shock and stress that often accompany a retinoblastoma diagnosis can make it hard to think of everything to ask the doctor. Often, it helps to make a list of questions before an appointment with the doctor.
To help remember what the doctor says, people may take notes or ask whether they may use a tape recorder. Some also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen.