Neuroblastoma is a cancer that grows from the sympathetic nervous system mainly affecting young children. There are no hereditary or environmental factors that cause Neuroblastoma. It is the most common cancer in infants and the 3rd most common cancer of young children. Neuroblastoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young children. There is no cure at the present time and it's cause is still unknown. There are approximately 650 new cases a year diagnosed in the United States. The prognosis of this disease depends on the age of the child and the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Unfortunately, most children are already at Stage IV by the time they are diagnosed. Infants under the age of one have a much higher rate of survival than older children. The five year survival rate of a child with Stage IV Neuroblastoma is about 20%.
The initial symptoms of Neuroblastoma may include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, or persistent diarrhea and many other very vague symptoms that mimic common childhood illnesses and viruses. Neuroblastoma is often first diagnosed when a parent or pediatrician notices a lump or mass somewhere in the child's body, but unfortunately many times there are no signs or symptoms as the disease progresses to the point where a child starts to feel bone pain, walks with a limp, or refuses to walk, at which point the disease has already metastasized.
Treatment for Neuroblastoma depends on the stage of the disease and may include very intense chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, biologic agents such as 13-cis retinoic acid, stem cell transplantation, bone marrow transplants, immuno-therapy as well as various experimental treatments.
Neuroblastoma is a very painful and aggressive disease with an extremely high relapse rate. Statistics show that there are virtually no long term survivors of relapsed Stage IV Neuroblastoma. The Mystic Force Foundation is dedicated to changing those statistics.
Please help us find a cure for this very virulent form of pediatric cancer.
Below is a list of links for more information on Neuroblastoma:
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