National Retinoblastoma in Brazil

TUCCA (Association for Children and Adolescents with Cancer) and INCTR Brazil have succeeded in having September 18th declared the “National Day of Awareness and Encouraging Early Diagnosis of Retinoblastoma” in Brazil. To gain the attention of the people of Brazil about the importance of the need for early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, TUCCA and INCTR Brazil managed to send this message to the public on September 18th with the cooperation of many other organizations and people. One of the most notable events took place at night when the lights which illuminate the monument of Christ the Redeemer, which stands some 38 meters high atop the Corcovado Hill in Rio de Janeiro, were switched off for several minutes to draw attention to the blindness caused by retinoblastoma. Watch the video on http://vimeo.com/49922782.

Other public monuments which are illuminated at night were also blacked out on September 18th. These included the Clock Set National Watch, the Sala São Paulo and the Flor do Cerrado (Digital TV Tower of Brazilia in the Districto Federal).

The Palmeiras football team showed their support on September 16th during their match against the Corinthians in the Brazilian Championship held in Pacaembu. Team Palmeiras entered the playing field with banners with the words, “Eye cancer can blind and kill” and “Save the eye of a child”. The banners were also displayed to the fans attending this match during halftime. Football team members from Santos displayed the banners when they entered the playing field in their match against Coritiba.

On September 18th, physicians from TUCCA/Santa Marcelina Hospital and medical students spent the day inside the Conjunto Nacional in São Paulo, where about 30,000 people come every day, and gave information to the people who came that day about the signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma in order to call their attention to the importance of early diagnosis to achieve cure rates of more than 90% - a reality in the US and Europe, but sadly not in Brazil and in many other low and middle income countries.

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