Neuroblastoma is a tumor of the childhood in which the mutation affects immature nerve cells in baby still in the womb. It typically affects children than in adults. The medical journal says neuroblastoma accounts around 6% of childhood cancer in the United States. But what is blastoma?
A blastoma is a type of tumor thought to arise in embryonic tissue that is caused by malignancies in precursor cells, often called blasts. On major cases, hereditary conditions are leading factors of causing these diseases.
How Long A Person Can Live With Neuroblastoma?
Like all childhood cancers, neuroblastoma is an extremely rare disease; with approximately 2% of the world, the population is diagnosed each year. The percentage of children with a specific type of cancer can live at least five years after their initial diagnosis. This is generally based on five-year survival rates. Well, many children live much longer than 5 years (and many are cured). Nevertheless, aggressive tumors are impossible to cure and many cases have turned fatal.1
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Neuroblastoma?
The treatment of neuroblastoma does not end with surgery or other therapies instead aftercare is most crucial. Your child’s doctor will recommend for series of tests to ensure that the blastoma has not reoccurred nor spread to other regions in the body. In addition, it is equally accompanied by managing side effects and monitoring the child’s overall health. Based on the clinical tests (laboratory tests and imaging) and physical examination, your health care provider will keep track of your child’s recovery which usually takes months to years to completely come out of this disease.
When the child is treated for low-risk or intermediate neuroblastoma, the patient is usually evaluated for every quarter or half-yearly until 2 years of time even after the completion of the treatment. When it is made certain that the child is no longer susceptible to the disease, then they are evaluated once in a year. However, follow-up care for the high-risk cases are often imperative and it purely depends on the individual. They are generally advised to undergo clinical tests in every few months until two to three years to determine whether the disease is still under control or recurred or gotten worse.2
How Long Does The Symptoms Last?
Neuroblastoma has the potential to cause long-term side effects. Most of the long-lasting problems vary based on the type of the treatment a child had, the location of the tumor, and the age of the child when treated. Some side effects even develop after years of treatment almost anywhere in the body such as heart and lungs and emotional & cognitive concerns such as anxiety, gloominess, and despair.
Some of the possible long-term side effects are
- Cardiovascular problems – Chemotherapy with drugs called anthracyclines, including daunorubicin more likely to cause heart problems. Some types of targeted therapy such as radiation therapy to the chest result in cardio problems.
- Hearing problems- Severe hearing loss is prevalent among children with high-risk neuroblastoma. Sensorineural hearing loss is generally irreversible and bilateral in neuroblastoma patients.
- Kidney problems- Among the late effects of childhood cancer therapy are renal impairment and associated hypertension. This includes kidney dysfunction, which means the kidneys aren’t working as well as they should.
- Hormonal changes- Hormonal imbalance that includes early menopause, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) and ovarian cancer are most likely to occur in patients with neuroblastoma.
- Secondary cancer including leukemia3. 4
The Children’s Oncology Group has conducted research on the physical and cognitive effects that most childhood cancer survivors face. The study concludes that long-term follow-up care is imperative for this childhood cancer.
- Treatment of Neuroblastoma based on risk classification https://www.cancer.org/cancer/neuroblastoma/treating/by-risk-group.html
- Late effects of neuroblastoma https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/neuroblastoma/treatment/late-effects/?region=on
- What happens after treatment of neuroblastoma? https://www.cancer.org/cancer/neuroblastoma/after-treatment/follow-up.html
- Neuroblastoma and its late effects https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/neuroblastoma.html
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