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Is retinoblastoma a hereditary disorder?

Q: I have retinoblastoma and my left eye was removed at the age of three. My son also suffered from this and his eye too has been removed. Is this disease hereditary? Can this disease be rectified in the sperm to have a baby without this problem?

A:The condition is called Retinoblastoma, which is a tumour in the retina and is normally a disease of infants and also is hereditary. After early diagnosis and removal of the eye you could live long enough to have your own child. Previously people used to die in childhood itself. You should see a genetic medicine expert about your or your son's probability of developing the disease. As far as I know there is no way of rectifying genes to have a disease free baby. Make sure all the blood relatives are examined, especially children, by an eye specialist after dilating pupils to detect the disease early and treat if necessary.

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