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Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from the immature nerve cells that are found in several areas of the body. The most common areas for the development of this cancer are around the adrenal glands. However, the cancer can develop in other areas as well such chest, neck and near the spine, where groups of nerve cells exist. The symptoms of the condition include abdominal pain, presence of a mass under the skin that is tender to touch along with constipation or diarrhoea.
HOW IS NEUROBLASTOMA DIAGNOSED?
Tests may include:
• a urine test – to check for certain chemicals produced by neuroblastoma cells that are found in urine
• scans – such as ultrasound scans, computerised tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of various parts of the body to look at these areas in detail
• an mIBG scan – this involves the injection of a substance taken up by neuroblastoma cells
• a biopsy – the removal of a sample of cells from the tumour tissue for examination under a microscope so the type of cancer can be identified, the sample is usually removed under general anaesthetic using a special needle
• bone marrow biopsies – to see if there are cancer cells in the bone marrow
HOW IS NEUROBLASTOMA TREATED?
Neuroblastoma has four stages and after staging the disease, the doctor will decide the course of treatment. The treatment of Neuroblastoma includes stem cell transplant, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, among others.
DID YOU KNOW?
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in immature cells or neurons of the nervous system.