NEUROBLASTOMA

Description

Cancer that grows in tissues of sympathetic nervous system most common among infants and occurs in 4 stages.

Symptoms

  1. a lump in the neck
  2. bone pain and difficulty walking, 
  3. numbness, weakness or loss of movement in the child’s lower body
  4. pale skin, bruising, bleeding and frequent infections
  5. bluish lumps in the skin and the appearance of “black eyes”
  6. paralysis of, or an inability to move, the upper or lower extremities
  7. abdominal swelling
  8. Changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation
  9. Unexplained weight loss

Causes

  1. genetic mutation
  2. immature nerve cells that a fetus makes as part of its development process.
  3.  accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor).

Risk Factors

  • family history of neuroblastoma 
  • Spread of the cancer (metastasis)
  • Spinal cord compression
  • Signs and symptoms caused by tumor secretions

Diagnostic Tests

  • urine analysis tests to check for certain chemicals found in the urine that are produced by neuroblastoma cells
  • CT Scans MRI scans and Ultrasound scans
  • mIBG scan
  • a bone marrow biopsy
  • blood tests
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing

Stages

Stage 1
tumor hasn,t spread and can be removed easily
Stage 2A
tumor is localised but cannot be easily removed
Stage 2B
lymph nodes connected to tumor and nearby contain cancer cells
Stage 3
 considered advanced
 tumor may be a larger size at this stage. 
Stage 4
 tumor or cancer cells have spread to distant parts 
considered very advance

Treatments

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • immunotherapy
  • a stem cell transplant

Medications

  • metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG).
  • X-rays, are used to kill cancer cells
  • anticancer drugs

Lifestyle Management

  • Take advantage of resources for children with cancer
  • Organize a support network. 
  • Maintain normalcy as much as possible