nutch_noindex
CANCEL
/nutch_noindex

Recurrent Retinoblastoma and Long-Term Care

While it is unlikely, retinoblastoma can come back after treatment. Children are at highest risk for recurrence until age 6, but retinoblastoma can even return later in life. We carefully monitor all our patients to catch any such recurrences at the earliest stages. In cases of recurrence, treatment depends on the site and extent of the recurrence (or progression). If the cancer comes back only in the eye and is small, the patient may need repeat chemotherapy, local freezing or laser treatments, radiation therapy, or even enucleation surgery. If the cancer comes back outside of the eye, treatment will depend on many factors and individual patient needs.

The long-term prognosis for children with retinoblastoma will vary greatly depending on their unique medical history and response to treatment. Our expert team will be there for your child and your family to help you get the prompt medical attention, screenings, counseling and treatment that greatly improve patient outcomes.

Continuous follow-up care is essential for a child diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Children are followed with very frequent eye exams until age 7, and then less frequently throughout the rest of their lives. Children will need regular follow-ups with a pediatric ophthalmologist, and our pediatric ophthalmology team can provide this ongoing care seamlessly. Children with hereditary retinoblastoma and those treated with certain chemotherapies, radiation therapies and some other therapies are at higher risk for new cancers later in life and should have regular medical and eye exams.

Additional Support

The Health After Therapy (HAT) program offers long-term support, counseling and preventative care for survivors of childhood cancer treatments, starting immediately after treatment. HAT also provides information about the potential late effects of treatment with patients and their families, and the program helps reinforce the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle after undergoing cancer therapy. When necessary, HAT will help patients select and establish care with medical providers closer to home.

In cases where retinoblastoma treatment or follow-up care continues into adolescence, the Stanford Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer (SAYAC) program helps us provide holistic and continuous care for adolescent cancer patients between the ages of 15 and 21 in their transition to adult-oriented care.

Stanford Cancer Institute logo