PhotoRED - empower photographers to capture and recognize eye cancer in children.
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Childhood eye cancer (retinoblastoma) usually develops before two years old. The most common early sign is a white pupil seen in flash photographs (photoleukocoria – see photo). When seen repeatedly, both eyes must be examined urgently by an ophthalmologist. This cancer is universally fatal if untreated, but highly curable when diagnosed early. The photoimaging industry can help save children’s life and sight with existing technologies.
In dim light, pupils expand to absorb more light for clearer vision. Flash photos capture a red glow from retina through the expanded pupil. Red Eye Reduction lights up the flash twice. Pupils contract in response to the first flash, and the photo is taken with the second, significantly reducing red eye. Red Eye Reduction limits white pupil detection.
When Rowan’s family moved to a house with low natural light, her mother began using a flash that captured white pupil. The photos came to late to save her sight, but they saved her life.
A recent Lancet article shows how red-eye and pet-eye correction tools enable unsuspecting parents to remove white reflex, putting children's lives at risk.
The global photoimaging industry has the power to dramatically improve early diagnosis of childhood eye cancer by including
a) In all cameras: red eye reduction set to OFF as standard.
b) in camera user manuals: information about red eye photography and the potentially serious nature of white eye reflex.
c) in red eye and pet eye correction software and Help guides: white pupil detection that prompts the user to check for repeated white reflex and links to further information.
Up to 90% of children with eye cancer are diagnosed because a parent sees white pupil in photos and raises concerns with a doctor, but lack of awareness often delays this process by months. More than 80% of children worldwide have one or both eyes surgically removed due to late diagnosis, and in developing countries, 80% of children die. This blindness and death is preventable with simple education of red eye photography and white reflex.
World Eye Cancer Hope educates for early diagnosis, empowers evidence based medical care and enables family support to reduce burdens. With many hands joined around the world, we will prevent death and irreversible blindness among children whose life has barely begun.
Please join us now in calling on the photoimaging industry to commit to permanent sustainable action that will lead to earlier diagnosis and life and sight saving opportunities for babies and young children around the world.
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