Mother's warning as 'white ring' in toddler's eye is a sign of cancer

Mother’s reveals how she spotted toddler’s cancer symptom while she was eating dinner

  • Evie Prior was rushed to hospital after a white ring appeared in her eye
  • The 18-month-old was diagnosed with a rare grade d retinoblastoma

A mother has revealed how she spotted her daughter’s cancer symptom while she was eating her dinner.

Danielle Prior, from Surrey, was feeding 18-month-old Evie a meal earlier this year when she spotted an usual ‘white ring’ and ‘cloudiness’ in her eye.

The 30-year-old phoned her GP and had an appointment for the then 11-month-old within an hour, who was referred for further tests and checks.

Results revealed that she had retinoblastoma — a rare type of eye cancer — that just 44 children in the UK and 300 in the US are diagnosed with every year.

The toddler underwent months of treatment and is now in remission, though her mother said it is a ‘ticking time bomb’ to see whether the cancer will return.

Evie Prior was just 11 months old when she was diagnosed with a rare cancer that consumed three-quarters of her eye

In January, they received the devastating diagnosis that Evie had retinoblastoma, which affects the retina in the back of the eye

During the GP appointment earlier this year, Evie underwent a red reflect test — which checks for a white, yellow or black reflection in the eye, which can be a signal of a serious eye condition — to check whether her eye was healthy. 

The toddler was then referred to an ophthalmologist.

Evie then underwent exploratory surgery under general anaesthetic which confirmed a Grade D retinoblastoma — meaning that it was at an advanced stage —that consumed three-quarters of her eye.

The cancer, which is usually triggered by a mutation that develops in a single gene as the eye develops, most commonly affects children under the ag of five.

A white glow or reflection at the centre of the pupil is the most common symptom. Other signs can include a squint, a change to the colour of the iris and swelling around the eye. 

Around 44 per cent of those diagnosed are in the first year of life and roughly 63 per cent are diagnosed in one eye only.

Ms Prior said: ‘[When I got the news], it broke me, I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to block everything out.

‘I wasn’t really eating or sleeping and I was suffering from anxiety.

‘Before Evie was diagnosed we kept thinking ‘maybe we’re wrong’, that it could be benign or just cataracts.

Mother, Danielle Prior, 30, from Surrey, said the devastating diagnosis ‘broke her’ and was ‘suffering from anxiety’

Evie went through six gruelling rounds of intra-arterial chemotherapy in the hope of removing the cancer

‘When I was given new news, I went into a deep black hole until I could find out about treatments.’

Evie went through six gruelling rounds of intra-arterial chemotherapy — a concentrated dose of chemotherapy that’s delivered directly to the affected eye — in the hope of clearing the cancer.

Despite medics believing the treatment had initially worked, her cancer was still present.

Her parents opted to carry on with the treatment in the hope that it would work instead of the toddler undergoing surgery to remove her eye — another treatment option.

Evie is now in remission but has checks at Royal London Hospital every six weeks.

Ms Prior said: ‘We’re in a limbo stage now and we see it as a ticking time bomb, but it’s just so hard when you don’t want to make the wrong decision.

‘This treatment has got a good success rate in other countries and it’s also salvaged vision sometimes, so we’re just trying to help her.

Evie’s mother first noticed with the ‘white ring’ when she was feeding the toddler her tea

Now aged 18 months, Evie – who loves the pre-school cartoon series Pepper Pig – is now in remission but has regular checks at Royal London Hospital every six weeks

‘We know what it’s like growing up [with a visible difference] — people can be horrible, especially if you lose a body part that is visually so obvious.’

She added: ‘We’re going to have to get her checked until she’s an adult; the doctors told me at a certain point it won’t be a problem anymore. Basically, when the eyes stop growing, it should remain stable.

‘But for now, she’s still got the tumour in her eye because they can’t do an operation safely where they can actually remove the tumour without the chance of it spreading to the brain.’

Ms Prior said that Evie has been left suffering from anxiety as a result of her frequent medical visits.

She said: ‘She’s scared and nervous, this [going to appointments and dealing with treatment] has really affected her.

‘She just doesn’t like strangers and is even a bit iffy around other children as well, it’s horrible to see.

‘We’re just hoping to get her confidence back up.

‘They are a really good team at Royal London; I can’t fault them, they are lovely but it’s a work in progress.

She also praised the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust for its ‘fantastic’ assistance.

She added: ‘That’s the only place I can get comfort because they can relate to what you’re going through. No one else really understands it.

‘There’s also family support Facebook groups that I’ve joined as well, it can be comforting to see other stories that seem positive and helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

‘We’re trying to take each day as it comes and remain positive.’ 

Source: Read Full Article