Lucas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was born. Today, he is a happy, healthy little boy. His ...
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 can occur anywhere in the body, but it most often occurs in one of the adrenal glands, in the abdomen. In some children, the neuroblastoma occurs in nerve tissue alongside the spinal cord in the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis.
Neuroblastoma is the most common form of embryonal tumour. Embryonal tumours are characterised by the proliferation of tissue that is normally only seen in the developing embryo. They are mainly seen in very young children.
The causes of neuroblastoma are not known.
Neuroblastoma accounts for 6% of childhood cancer registrations in the UK, with around 95 diagnoses annually.
As with all embryonal tumours, neuroblastoma is most common in children under the age of five years and extremely rare after the age of 10 years.
The incidence of neuroblastoma is highest in the under ones – it is the most frequent single type of cancer in the first year of life, accounting for one fifth of cancers in this age group.
Neuroblastoma is slightly more common in boys than in girls, by a ratio of 6:5.
Neuroblastoma has one of the lowest survival rates of all childhood cancers. The 5 year survival rate for Neuroblastoma in children in England is 67%
Neuroblastoma is also one of the few types of cancer for which survival differs significantly between the sexes – boys have a worse outlook than girls.
Infants have a better outlook than older children: those diagnosed before the age of one have five-year survival of 83% compared to only 43% for those in the 1-4 year age group.Back to top