Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that begins in the embryonic cells which normally develop into parts of our nervous system. These cells are called neuroblasts. A tumor arising from these cells is called a Neuroblastoma. The cause of Neuroblastoma is not known. We do know it is not hereditary, does not result from injury and is not infectious.
Neuroblastoma is responsible for 8-10% of all childhood cancers. Although it is only the 5th most common cancer in childhood, it is responsible for a disproportionate number of deaths due to cancer in children. Neuroblastoma usually occurs in children under 5. It is the most common tumor in babies under 1 year of age. Although it is rare, Neuroblastoma can occur in older children and adults.
Each year between 50-75 children are diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in Canada. Fifty percent of children diagnosed over the age of 1 have widespread (metastatic) disease at diagnosis.
The prognosis for Neuroblastoma depends on the age of the child and the stage of the disease at diagnosis. The younger the child is at diagnosis the greater the chance for cure is. If there is no sign of disease recurrence 5 years after diagnosis the chances are very good that the child has been cured.
Learn more at http://neuroblastoma.ca/neuroblastoma/