Pediatric oncologists at American Family Children's Hospital specialize in the treatment of neuroblastoma, the fourth most common childhood cancer.
Overview of Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue. It is a type of cancer the occurs primarily in infants and children, and is rarely found in children over age 10.
Neuroblastoma symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumors in the body. Symptoms can include:
- Unusual lump or mass, typically in the abdomen
- Swollen abdomen
- Swelling in the face or throat
- Chronic fatigue
- Problems with urination or bowel movements
- Loss of movement in the hips or extremities
A physician will first perform a physical exam and review the child's medical history. Depending on the findings, other exams may be conducted including:
- Blood and urine tests
- Catecholamines - urine
- Catecholamines - blood
- Hormone tests (levels of hormones such as epinephrine)
- CBC showing anemia or other abnormality
- Imaging exams
- Biopsy of the tumor
- Bone marrow biopsy
There are various treatment methods for neuroblastoma and they vary depending on a variety of factors, including the child's medical history and the stage of the disease. Several treatment options may be used, and can include:
- Retinoid therapy
- Radiation therapy
- MIBG (radiation therapy) and stem cell transplant
Family Resources and Patient Education for Neuroblastoma Patients
The Pediatric Oncology program at American Family Children's Hospital is dedicated to helping patients and their families through every step of their treatment.
For children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, MIBG may be used as a treatment option. For children undergoing treatment, there are several resources available through American Family Children's Hospital and the local community.