Santa Casa (MG) implements diagnostic and treatment services for Retinoblastoma

With the support of the ARD Foundation, the Santa Casa de Misericórdia (MG) finalized the implementation of the new diagnostic and treatment services for Retinoblastoma. Until now, the children diagnosed with retinoblastoma  had to receive treatment in São Paulo.

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The acquisition of the RetCam was crucial for the development of the new service. It was with part of the funds raised during the Foundation’s first Gala in New York that the ARD Foundation was able to help Santa Casa de Misericórdia and the ONG Machadores pela Vida buy the RetCam.

“To the ARD Foundation, it is a great joy to help acquire such an important equipment to treat this type of cancer. We thank all of those who follow us, our ambassadors and those who truly believe in our cause. Together, we are stronger,” says Ana Gizzi, CEO of the ARD Foundation.

A great victory

The RetCam’s high resolution camera captures images and amplifies them in a monitor. According to the ocular oncologist, Dr. Rafaela Caixeta, retinoblastoma is the main cause of eye removal in children.

“The arrival of the RetCam is a great victory. We thank all of those who worked together to make it possible,” she says.

According to the pediatric oncologist, Dr. Joaquim Caetano Aguirre Neto, around 80% of cases with this type of cancer are diagnosed in children younger than 4 years of age.

“The most common symptom is the leukocoria, a white reflection in the pupil, followed by strabismus. Other symptoms that occur less frequently include inflammation, eye irritation, glaucoma, and a mass in the eye’s orbit. In advanced cases, there could be symptoms of a compromised central nervous system [headache and vomiting] and bone marrow [bone pain]. In the majority of cases, it is a family member or pediatrician who first detects these symptoms. Presented with any suspicion, it is crucial to send the patients to the appropriate recommended services,” he explains.