What is this disease?
Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that mostly affects young children, under age of five. It develops from nerve cells called neuroblast. These cells are found in a chain running down the back of the chest and stomach (abdomen).In many cases, neuroblastoma first develops in the adrenal glands (the two small glands above the kidneys) and can spread to other areas such as the bones, liver and skin.
How it is diagnosed?
It’s often hard to diagnose neuroblastoma in the early stages, as initial symptoms are common ones – for example, aches and pains, loss of energy and loss of appetite A number of tests is carried out including urine analysis tests to check for certain chemicals(VMA) found in the urine that are produced by neuroblastoma cells, scans of various parts of the body to look for areas affected by the cancer – such as ultrasound scans, computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, a special type of scan involving an injection of a substance that is taken up by neuroblastoma cells anywhere in the body, called an MIBG scan and a biopsy (removal of a tissue sample for microscopic examination) will allow the cancer to be identified – the sample is typically removed under general anaesthesia using a special needle.)
How it is treated?
Depending on the stage, chemotherapy is usually given to shrink the tumour before it is surgically removed, followed in some cases by radiotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
When it should be operated?
The decision to operate will depend upon clinical condition and stage of the tumor.
Are there other alternative methods of treatment?
Chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery are all used in different combinations for treatment. For advanced tumor, newer modalities of treatment are sometimes used
What all I need to know before my child surgery?
Read “All you need to know before your child’s surgery” information booklet in website.
How is the surgery done?
Surgery involves removal of mass and varies according to site.
For more details of surgery, contact your surgeon