Cancer is a condition in which the cells of the body multiply abnormally suppressing the normal cells. Multiplication of cells can start in any part of the body and can spread to other areas of the body. Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that causes immature cells and is more common in children than adults. Some form of neuroblastoma gets healed on its own while some call for multiple treatments.
There are various treatment options available for treating neuroblastoma. Doctors select the treatment plan considering the different factors that are revealed after the prognosis. Some of these factors include the stage of cancer, age of the patient, cells causing cancer and whether or not any abnormality is present in the genes or not.
Based on these factors, the doctor first categories cancer into three categories namely low risk, medium risk, and high risk. The type of treatment that will be carried for the patient depends majorly on the risk category. (1)
Is There A Surgery For Neuroblastoma?
Surgeons make use of different surgical tools like scalpels for removing the cancer cells from the body. Patients suffering from low-risk neuroblastoma are prescribed surgery for removing the tumor. The possibility that the tumor will be moved completely depends on its size as well as the location. If a tumor is present very close to the vital organs such as spinal cord or lungs then removing the same through surgery is very risky. In the case of medium and high-risk neuroblastoma, doctors try their best to remove the tumor to the maximum possible extent. Later the remaining tumor portion is destroyed with the help of other treatment options like radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is a treatment in which different types of strong chemicals are used for destroying cancer cells. Through chemotherapy, doctors target rapidly growing cancer cells in the body. Unfortunately, there are various side effects of chemotherapy, which include damaging healthy cells of the body.
Patients suffering from medium risk neuroblastoma are often prescribed to avail a combination of chemotherapy before the surgery so that the possibility of removing the entire tumor becomes higher. Similarly, patients with high-risk neuroblastoma are prescribed strong chemotherapy drugs, this drastically shrinks the size of the tumor. This increases the possibility of removing the tumor completely.
Radiation therapy as the name suggests, in this treatment high-energy beams are used for destroying cancer cells. Patients suffering from low or medium risk neuroblastoma, radiation treatment is considered as an alternative treatment option after surgery and chemotherapy. This helps in preventing cancer cells from recurring.
Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy also affects healthy cells. This happens because even when the radiation is targeted to the affected area but it also destroys the surrounding healthy cells. The intensity of radiation depends on the severity of the problem.
These treatment options are very effective in treating neuroblastoma to the maximum possible extent.
Although, it is difficult to identify the actual cause of neuroblastoma people who have a family history of this type of cancer are more prone to develop the same disease. In most of the situations, the exact cause remains unidentified. (2)
Diagnosis Of Neuroblastoma
The diagnosing process of neuroblastoma include the following:
Physical Exam – The first and foremost method of diagnosis is a physical examination. Doctors perform the physical examination by identifying the symptoms. Further, doctors ask questions related to the kid’s behavior and habits to identify the problem in detail.
Urine And Blood Tests – When doctors suspect the existing of neuroblastoma, they prescribe urine and blood tests for further confirmation. Urine test helps in identifying the high level of some chemicals causing neuroblastoma cells producing more catecholamines.
Imaging Tests – This test helps in identifying the location of the tumor in the body. Imaging tests include X-ray, CT i.e. computerized tomography scan, ultrasound, MRI i.e. magnetic resonance imaging and so on. (2)
- What is Neuroblastoma, Know its Causes, Stages, Symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis, Complications
- Medulloblastoma Vs Neuroblastoma Differences
- Does Neuroblastoma Run In Families & Can Adults Get Neuroblastoma?
- How Bad Is Stage 4 Neuroblastoma & Has Anyone Survived Neuroblastoma?
- What Are The Chances Of Surviving Neuroblastoma & What Are Its Stages?
- What Part Of The Body Does Neuroblastoma Affect & Are You Born With It?
- Best Exercises/Activities For Neuroblastoma Patients