Neuroblastoma is one type of cancer that often affects children. This type of cancer attacks the nervous system, so it can grow in various parts of the body. Neuroblastoma most commonly appears in and around the adrenal glands. However, neuroblastoma may also develop in other areas, such as the abdomen, chest, neck, near the spine, and at the location of the nerve cell group.
Causes of Neuroblastoma
Cancer starts with a genetic mutation that allows normal and healthy cells to continue to grow without responding to the signal to stop. Ultimately, the growth of these cells is uncontrollable called cancer.
Neuroblastoma begins in immature nerve cells (neuroblasts) as part of the fetal development process. When the fetus has matured, Neuroblast eventually transforms into nerve cells and fibers as well as cells that form the adrenal glands. Most of the neuroblasts mature when the baby is born, although a small amount of immature neuroblasts can be found in newborns.
In most cases, the neuroblasts mature or disappear. In other cases, the neuroblasts instead form a neurological cancer.
To date, it is still unclear what caused the genetic mutation leading to neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma most commonly attack children aged 5 years or younger. Some forms of neuroblastoma disappear on their own, whereas some other cases may require some treatment. The choice of neuroblastoma treatment in children depends on several factors.
Symptoms of Neuroblastoma
Signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma vary depending on which part of the body is affected. Most cases of neuroblastoma attack the abdomen, so the symptoms that often arise are pain in the abdomen. Signs and symptoms of other abdominal neuroblastoma are masses under the skin that are not tender when touched and changes in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation.
While the neuroblastoma in the symptoms of the chest, breathy breathing, pain in the chest, uneven pupil size, and drooping eyelids. Other signs and symptoms may indicate neuroblastoma, namely:
- Lump tissues under the skin.
- The eyeballs that seem to stand out from the socket (proptosis).
- Dark circles are similar to bruises around the eyes.
- Unexplainable weight loss.
- Bone pain.
Neuroblastoma Risk Factors
Children with a family history of neuroblastoma have a greater risk of developing this disease. However, familial neuroblastoma is thought to consist of a small number of neuroblastoma cases. In most cases neuroblastoma, the cause was never identified.
Complications of Neuroblastoma
Early detectable neuroblastoma can avoid possible complications. If this cancer is kept left, possible complications are:
1. Cancer Spreading (metasling)
Neuroblastoma can spread or metastasize to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, skin and bones.
2. Spinal cord Compression
Tumors can grow and suppress the spinal cord, causing compression of the spinal cord. Spinal cord compression can cause pain and paralysis.
3. Tumor secretion
Neuroblastoma cells can remove certain chemicals that irritate other normal tissues. This condition leads to signs and symptoms called paraneoplastic syndrome. One paraneoplastic syndrome that occurs in neuroblastoma people with causes rapid eye movements and difficulty coordination. Other rare syndromes cause stomach swelling and diarrhea.
If mothers suspect that the child is experiencing the above symptoms, should immediately talk to the doctor.