Mom Able To Detect Rare Cancer In 3-Month-Old Son With iPhone Photo

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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A Georgia mother saved her son’s life after a photo taken on her iPhone helped her detect a rare form of cancer, Fox News reported.

Josie Rock, 41, noticed an abnormality in her son Asher’s eye when the flash of her phone accidentally went off and showed a glow in his right eye, Fox News reported. The white part was a tumor behind his eye covering what would normally be a red-colored selection of the retina.

The photo she took shows one eye with a red center, while the other eye shows an all white blur in the same place. Rock learned about retinoblastoma, the eye cancer common in children, as a labor and delivery nurse, Fox News reported.

The discovery, which she noticed when he was three months old, saved his life, Fox News reported.

“I was just taking pictures of him and the lighting happened to change in our room, the flash caught the reflection and his eye was glowing white,” Rock told Fox News Tuesday. “I knew right then and there that Asher had cancer. It was chilling to say the least. He was just a baby.”

She shared other photos she took on a professional camera to nurse practitioners she worked with, who said the glow could be a result of the lighting, but decided to take him to the pediatrician to be sure, Fox News reported.

Asher was diagnosed with grade D retinoblastoma, the most severe stage is grade E, Fox News reported. The American Cancer Society defines his stage as “large or poorly defined tumors with widespread vitreous or subretinal seeding. The retina may have become detached from the back of the eye.”

“At first we gave him [Asher] chemotherapy intravenous and the ophthalmologist used lasers on the spots [on his eye] and there were responses,” Dr. Tomas Olson, director of the solid tumor program in the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta where he was treated, told Fox News. “He finished chemo in 2015. The problem with retinoblastoma is it can pop up in other places. Over time, he had a few new ones pop up and they were lasered.”

Olson said that if you don’t have a family history of the cancer, it can be hard to detect it, Fox News reported. Asher has had 54 exams and is still being treated.

“I have never known a stronger kid,” Rock said. “He’s so positive – he’s not a complainer – he finds the joy in everything we do.”

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