What is Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer. It is the most common cancer diagnosed in the first year of life and accounts for around 15% of cancer deaths in children.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of specialised nerve cells called neural crest cells. These cells are involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues.

Neuroblastoma most commonly occurs in:

  • either one of the two adrenal glands situated in the abdomen (tummy)
  • nerve tissue that runs alongside the spinal cord, in the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis.

The adrenal glands are specialised glands that are found above both kidneys. They normally release hormones to maintain blood pressure and help the body respond to stress. In some cases, neuroblastoma can spread to tissues beyond the original site such as the bone marrow, bone, lymph nodes, liver and skin.

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