The Amelia-Mae Foundation 2014 © Site designed by Robinson Designs
Registered Charity 1154326
“The Amelia-Mae Foundation’s mission is to support families affected by Neuroblastoma, whilst publically raising awareness of the condition”
Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer that affects children. It develops
from nerve cells called neuroblasts.
The cancer usually starts in the child’s abdomen (tummy). It often 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.
The cause is unknown. There are rare cases where children in the same family are affected, but it does not generally run in families.
Who is affected?
Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children each year in the UK. It usually affects children under the age of five, and can occur before a child is born. It is the most common solid tumour in childhood after brain tumours.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms depend on where the cancer is and whether it has spread. It is often hard to diagnose neuroblastoma in the early stages, as initial symptoms are common ones – for example, aches and pains and loss of appetite.
However, the most common symptom when the cancer has developed is a lump or swelling in the child’s abdomen, as this is where the cancer usually starts. It can cause constipation and general discomfort and pain.
Other possible symptoms are:
As with most cancers the tumour is defined by stages, which reflect the spread of
disease. There are a number of staging systems, but the most widely used until recently
– INSS – is shown first, with the most recent (INRG) in brackets: