When Stella Robson’s eye turned red, her parents thought it was just an eye infection. Even the doctor thought the same thing. Stella, 6, was given some antibiotics and the Australian family was sent home and told to wait a few days for it to clear up. But it didn’t clear up.
Stella’s eye continued to swell, so her mother, Gaylene Robson, went for a second opinion. They went to an ophthalmologist who ordered a CT scan to be done at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
The scan showed that Stella has a bell-shaped tumor that was growing between her eye and her brain.
Stella was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancerous tumor called Langerhans cell histiocytosis (a bone tumor). The tumor (1.5 centimeters) had grown into Stella’s orbital bone, which is the bone that surrounds the eyeball.
It was a very fast growing tumor, and Stella would need emergency treatment. The experts spent a few days looking at Stella’s scans to figure out the best way to remove the tumor.
The surgeons were able to remove most of the cancerous growth. Stella underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy to make sure the tumor hadn’t spread to other parts of her body.
Her mother says that even throughout all the difficulties, Stella took it all in stride. Happily, Stella is cancer free and has only a 20% chance of relapse.
The best part is that her vision was not affected by the cancer. Good thing Gaylene took her daughter for a second opinion, things could have been so much worse.