Book will help parents spot eye cancer in kids

RED EYE Owen Bishop with only one red eye in a picture, a sign of cancer. And inset, with mum Katy
RED EYE Owen Bishop with only one red eye in a picture, a sign of cancer. And inset, with mum Katy

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NEW parents are to be warned how to spot the signs of eye cancer in children.

Parents will be taught that the appearance of a whitish light on the eye, a squint, a sore or swollen eye or a deterioration in vision could be signs of life-threatening retinoblastoma.

RED EYE Owen Bishop with mum Katy

RED EYE Owen Bishop with mum Katy

The absence of red eye in a photograph in one pupil could also point towards the aggressive cancer.

Information about the disease will be published in the personal child health record, also known as the red book, given to every parent upon the birth of their child.

Mother-of-four Katy Bishop, whose two-year-old son Owen was diagnosed with the aggressive cancer, welcomed the news.

Ms Bishop, from Petersfield, said: ‘If we’d have known that a glow in his eyes in a photograph could be something to be concerned about we would definitely have pushed for Owen to have been seen sooner. I am so relieved that future parents will have this information to hand. It will make a real difference to children diagnosed with retinoblastoma in the future.’

The 32-year-old’s son was diagnosed with cancerous tumours in both of his eyes when he was 11 months old.

Ms Bishop said: ‘If there had been one paragraph explaining white glow in eyes could be a danger signal, I would have known months earlier what was wrong and queried the eye doctor when she told me not to worry.’

Retinoblastoma is a childhood cancer generally affecting the retina of children from birth to six years old. Between 40 and 50 children are diagnosed with the disease each year.