Ghana is another country claimed by the Eye Cancer Foundation! Recently, Dr. Akosua Boateng finished her training sponsored by The Eye Cancer Foundation (http://eyecancercure.com). She notes, “I have always been interested in ocular pathology, but had never truly had the opportunity to nurture the interest due to a lack of resources in my home country.” However, she was awarded the opportunity to train in ophthalmic pathology with an emphasis on retinoblastoma at the Beijing Children’s Hospital due to a joint effort of Dr. Paul Finger of The Eye Cancer Foundation and Dr. Brenda Gallie of the University Health Network, Princess Margaret Cancer Center of Toronto.
Dr. Boateng was determined to learn about the clinical presentation, examination, and treatment for many ocular cancers as well as be able to recognize their pathology on slides under the microscope. Her training
was split between a clinic with Dr. Jeffrey Zhang, retinoblastoma care with Dr. John Zhao and the pathology department with Dr. Nan Zhang. During clinic days, Dr. Boateng learned about many eye diseases including myopia, congenital anophthalmia and others. For the first time, she learned how to perform intraocular photography with the Retcam Imaging System. For retinoblastoma care, Dr. Boateng was able to examine the fundus of both old, treated and new cases. She took part in discussions of the children’s treatment options. She spent time in the operating theatre shadowing surgeries, such as laser treatment, chemotherapy and enucleation. She learned to differentiate between retinoblastoma and Coat’s Disease. In the pathology department, first she learned more about the anatomy of the eye, identified histologic high-risk factors for retinoblastoma, and how to stage cases according to the AJCC 8th Edition Manual. She says it was a “great learning experience.”.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Boateng was forced to abruptly end her training months prior to completion. Thus, she would like to return to learn more about adult ocular pathology as it would be helpful back in Ghana. However, when Dr. Boateng returned to her parent hospital in Ghana, she feels so much more confident in dealing with ocular pathology and retinoblastoma. She is grateful to Drs. Finger and Gallie as well as The Eye Cancer Foundation for allowing her intensive training to happen!
Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular cancer in children. One out of 15,000 children suffer from this malignancy. Typically, parents notice that one or both pupils turn white and their child has difficulty seeing. In 2017, a university in New Delhi, India initiated a long-term project to detect that white eye reflex in children. It was spearheaded by Nirmala Muralidhar, the project coordinator of Janki Devi Memorial College, under the direction of Dr. Vikas Menon, their consultant ocular oncologist. What began as a student faculty project, in November 2017, it transformed into a larger initiative where a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), ophthalmologists, ocular oncologists from specialty eye cancer centers collaborated to create awareness for early detection of retinoblastoma cancer.
The long-term goals of this project included sensitizing families to the appearance of the white eye reflex, stirring awareness amongst doctors about retinoblastoma and prompting parents to be aware of their children’s eye health. Using photography as a tool for early detection, they created awareness of children with special needs who suffer from retinoblastoma. Though these objectives were slowly accomplished over 3 years, there were many activities, learning opportunities, and research studies presented to educate the public. The Strides for Retinoblastoma was most profound and heartfelt, as an RB survivor led a walk with over 200 people during World Cancer Day on February 4, 2018.
While many research studies are able to spread awareness of retinoblastoma within the healthcare professional world, this initiative is unique as its audience was varied. It included parents, children and healthcare workers. All were involved in this coordinated campaign to save both vision and life.. The Eye Cancer Foundation continues to be determined to create awareness of retinoblastoma, to supply trained eye cancer specialists to underserved communities and is more than proud to announce the success of the JDMC awareness campaign.
For more information contact Dr. Puneet Jain at firstname.lastname@example.org
Retinoblastoma Screening in Babies
Public Awareness Campaign
Did you know…
…that in addition to the training of eye doctors from around the world, The Eye Cancer Foundation needs to equip them with essential basic eye cancer care equipment. Especially during COVID-19, eye cancer specialists in underserved countries are having difficulty treating their patients with basic equipment designed to help pinpoint the disease. Without the proper equipment, these patients will lose their vision, partially or completely or required eye removal “enucleation.” Help us equip these eye cancer specialists with essential items for their practices. Thankfully, Amazon makes this very easy. Just go to the ECF Amazon page and select an item for as little as $6.99. To get to the right Amazon page, just click here. Send it as a gift or write our Foundation’s Director of Development (email@example.com) to let us know what you have donated and that it will be coming. You can select from any of the equipment listed and donate as many as you want. Be assured, it will be used for eye cancer patients around the world. No matter what you donate, you will empower an eye doctor somewhere else in the world to save sight and save lives. Thank you, in advance, for helping us with this important work.