Neuroblastoma Awareness Month & Ribbon
Neuroblastoma is a condition that develops in the immature nerve cells of the body. It commonly develops in the adrenal glands located above the kidneys, but can occur in other parts as well. So, wherever a group of nerve cells congregate, neuroblastoma is likely to develop there. It occurs in young children below age of 5 as they have immature nerve cells.
If the neuroblastoma affects the abdomen then the symptoms include pain, tenderness below the skin, frequent diarrhea and swollen legs. Neuroblastoma in the chest region can cause wheeze, pain, drooping eyelids and irregular pupil size. Other common symptoms include protruding eye balls, fever, back pain and bone ache.
Beginning at the neuroblast stage, neuroblastoma affects the nerve cells by alerting their genetic makeup. Neuroblasts start forming right at the fetus level. While most mature by the time of birth of the child, some immature ones are found in the newborns. These are the ones vulnerable to change and cause of neuroblastoma.
Physical examination is the first step to diagnose neuroblastoma. It could also include a detailed psychological assessment of the child. Urine tests, blood tests, imaging tests, biopsy and staging are a part of the diagnosis like in other types of cancer.