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Camera Flash Helps Reveal Cancerous Tumor In Baby's Eye, Mom Says

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The pictures an Arizona mother took of her baby have led to a diagnosis that may have potentially saved his life. 

Andrea Temarantz of Scottsdale, Arizona, took hundreds of pictures of her infant son Ryder every day in the hopes of capturing her child's first moments, KPNX reported on Jan. 27.

When Ryder was about 3 months old, his mother began noticing a strange white glow in his left eye that appeared in many of the photos she took.

"It looks almost like a flashlight in his eye. A tiny flashlight," she said.

Temarantz initially believed that the glow was caused by her camera phone, but it continued to appear in photos even after she started using a better camera.

When she asked Ryder's pediatrician about the issue at his four-month checkup, the doctor examined the baby's eye and immediately made an appointment with a specialist for the next day.

At this point, Ryder was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancerous tumor in his eye. The white glow in pictures was reportedly caused by the camera's flash reflecting off the tumor.

After the diagnosis, Temarantz and her husband immediately took Ryder to a New York specialist for chemotherapy treatment.

Even with immediate care, the infant has already permanently lost part of his vision in his left eye. Tests show the cancer did not spread to his other eye or his brain.

Temarantz expressed her relief that the tumor was diagnosed and treated before it could cause more damage.

"Maybe six, seven, eight months, it could've spread to his brain by then," she said.

She advises other parents to act immediately if they see a suspicious white glow in their children's photos.

"Take a lot of pictures of your kids and leave the flash on," she said.

Ryder's parents have set up a fund online to help cover the costs of his treatment.

Retinoblastoma affects approximately 300 children in the U.S. every year, according to statistics reported by The Eye Cancer Foundation. Of these, 90 percent can make a full recovery through early detection and treatment. 

Sources: KPNX, The Eye Cancer Foundation / Photo credit: KPNX

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