Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that develops from the immature nerve cells. It is commonly found around the adrenal glands (located at the top of the kidneys). Its function is to regulate the body’s metabolism, blood pressure, the body’s response to stress, and other functions at the body. Neuroblastoma could also develop in other organs of the body that have these nerve cells including spinal cord, abdomen, chest, and others. Neuroblastoma usually affects children 5 years old and below. Treatment options usually are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, and immunotherapy.
Signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma depend on the location of the tumor and the stage of the disease.
Symptoms of neuroblastoma in the abdomen can include:
Symptoms of neuroblastoma in the chest can include:
Symptoms of neuroblastoma that spread to other parts of the body can include:
If you notice any signs and symptoms of your child, make an appointment with your doctor. Investigation may be recommended as the symptoms are not specific with the cancer.
The disease usually happens when nerve tissues develop immature cells that become abnormal and form into a tumor. Genetic mutation causes the abnormal cells to continue to grow out of control affect other normal cells. Causes of genetic mutation have not yet been determined by the specialists, but risk factors have been identified that increase the risk of having a neuroblastoma.
Factors that may increase neuroblastoma risk includes:
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