MAR 31, 2017 7:45 AM PDT

Catching Cancer in a Flash


Every parent has a camera or phone at the at ready when their children are small. Every day could bring a new milestone or a precious moment and they all need to be captured for the scrapbook. Recently, a dad in the UK snapped an adorable picture of his 14 month old son Jaxson. With his chubby cheeks and sweet smile, it was the perfect snapshot. Jaxon's dad immediately noticed that in the pics, one of Jaxon's eyes was red, as happens with a camera flash, but the other showed a whitish center.

Red eye happens in photos because the light bounces off tissue in the retina of the eye. It's pink because the blood supply is healthy. In the case of the pictures of Jaxon, a tumor, called a retinoblastoma, was growing in front of the this tissue, blocking the light from reaching the rear part of the eye and reflecting back. It's a rare cancer, only seen in about 4% of all cancers in children. Jason is now undergoing treatment thanks to his dad who brought the pictures to attention of a doctor. Good luck Jaxon, keep smiling!
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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