How Dangerous Is Neuroblastoma & Is It Contagious?

Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer caused by children. It mainly forms in the nerve areas, which control the blood pressure and few essential hormones. Children belonging to any age group may suffer from the problem, but neuroblastoma cancer is common in children less than 5years age.

How Dangerous Is Neuroblastoma?

We can say whether neuroblastoma is a dangerous type of cancer in children or not based on the following key aspects-

  1. Prognosis Of Neuroblastoma

    Neuroblastoma is a type of nerve cancer, which takes place outside of the human brain. This often starts within the adrenal glands located just above each of the kidneys. However, in some cases, cancer of this type may start within the nerve centers surrounding the spinal cord.

    According to oncologists, neuroblastoma is deadly cancer with approximately 700 cases in a year in the United States. In addition, neuroblastoma accounts for about 12percent of children’s death due to cancer. Approximately 90percent of the cases take place in children less than 10years age and 60percent before 2years. Especially, neuroblastoma is a common type of cancer in newborn babies.

    Further research studies have highlighted that approximately half of the infants or children suffering from neuroblastoma have tumors, about which doctors call unfavorable biology. This indicates the cancer is highly aggressive and is responsible to carry extra copies of the cancer gene i.e. MYCN and spreads in different parts of the body in a rapid way. Only 30percent or 40percent of children developing tumors with neuroblastoma may survive and those who survive often experience other health problems during the lifetime.

    On the other side, a few of the neuroblastoma patients have favorable biology, as they have localized tumors. Hence, oncologists with the help of other doctors may easily remove them without applying chemotherapy and are invasive ones. However, regardless of the tumors formed in the body, each neuroblastoma patient has to undergo surgery and biopsy to remove cancer as early as possible. (1)

  2. Intermediate Risk Of Neuroblastoma

    Patients at intermediate risk of neuroblastoma often undergo intensive chemotherapy for a period of 9 or 10 months. Even though the treatment cures about 90percent or higher of such cancers, it is one of the tough treatments to cause damages to kidneys, hearing loss and give scope for the development of other cancers. Especially, most of the kids lose their hair after chemotherapy treatment.

  3. High-Risk Neuroblastoma

    Patients who remain at high risk of neuroblastoma often undergo intensive treatment and/or therapies. Accordingly, doctors recommend chemotherapy treatment followed by surgery to remove the tumor. Once this becomes successful, the patient has to undergo stem cell or bone marrow transplantation, where doctors use stem cells of the patient for reconstituting the bone marrow. Later on, patients have to undergo treatment for 6months with retinoic acid for wiping out the remaining cancerous cells. Even though patents have to go through a series of complicated and intensive treatment options, hardly 50percent of patients or even less than that survive. In addition, neuroblastoma cancer in some patients relapses in the near future. (1)

Is Neuroblastoma Contagious?

When the cancerous cells in a human body (similar to the case of neuroblastoma cancer) group together, it results in the formation of a tumor and it spreads or metastasizes to other body parts. In some cases, it spreads to the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and bone marrows or stems cells. In another way, neuroblastoma results in the spread of cells through different body parts of a patient. However, the disease is not contagious, as neuroblastoma never spreads among individuals. (2) (1)

Conclusion

As neuroblastoma patients hardly survive or if they survive, they often experience side effects or health problems, we should say that neuroblastoma is dangerous for infants and children both.

References-

  1. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/brain-cancer/news/20100929/vastly-better-odds-for-kids-with-deadly-cancer#1
  2. https://www.mountnittany.org/articles/healthsheets/12238

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