Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that is seen commonly in very young children, around or below the age of 5 years. It is cancer that arises in the immature nerve cells.(2)

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How Bad Is Stage 4 Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is classified into six stages, Stage 1, 2A, 2B, 3, 4, 4S and recurrent. Although recurrent is not a stage, this category is used to define cancer that has been treated previously but has recurred or resurfaced.

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In Stage 4 neuroblastoma, cancer has evaded to farther sites, which may include lymph nodes at a distant location, liver, skin, bones, bone marrow or other parts or organs in the body, however, the criteria for stage 4S is not met.

Has Anyone Survived Neuroblastoma?

The survival rate varies according to the category of neuroblastoma. The low-risk category has a better chance at survival while the high-risk category has a relatively poor chance of survival.

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The stages of neuroblastoma are as follows-

Stage 1-

  • In this stage, the cancer is in the area where it initially began
  • It is present on one side of the body, either left or right
  • With the help of surgery, all visible tumor has been completely removed
  • Lymph nodes present beyond the tumor are not affected by cancer
  • Those present inside the tumor, however, may contain cancer cells

Stage 2A-

  • In this stage, the cancer is in the area where it initially began
  • Also, it is present on one side of the body, left or right
  • However, the complete visible tumor could not be removed through surgery
  • Lymph nodes present beyond the tumor do not contain cancer cells, however, those present within the tumor may contain cells of neuroblastoma

Stage 2B-

  • In this stage, the cancer is present on one side of the body
  • The tumor may or may not have been removed completely through surgery
  • Lymph nodes out of the tumor, but near to the tumor contain cancer cells
  • However, cancer has not spread to the other side of the body or anywhere else

Stage 3-

In this stage, cancer has not spread to farther parts of the body, but, out of the following conditions, one may be true-

  • The cancer is not removed completely through a surgery
  • It has crossed to the other side of the body
  • It may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes that are close by
  • The cancer is in the area where it began
  • It is present on one side of the body
  • It has spread to the lymph nodes that are on the other side of the body but are relatively near
  • The cancer is present in the middle part of the body
  • It is growing towards both sides
  • It may be growing directly or spreading through neighboring lymph nodes
  • It cannot be extracted fully with surgery

Stage 4-

As described earlier, cancer has spread to farther sites like lymph nodes, skin, liver, bones, bone marrow, etc.

Stage 4S-

  • This stage is also known as special neuroblastoma
  • In this case, the affected child is of the age 1 year
  • The cancer is present on one side of the body, left or right
  • Cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes present on one side of the body. But it hasn’t reached the lymph nodes on the other side
  • It has spread to skin, liver and/or bone marrow

Recurrent-

  • This is not a formal stage of neuroblastoma
  • This term is used to define neuroblastoma that has been previously treated but has resurfaced
  • When cancer resurfaces, it may be in the same area as it initially began, or it may be in a completely different area.(1)

Conclusion

Stage 4 neuroblastoma indicates that cancer has spread to distant sites in the body.

References:  

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 12, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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