NEUROBLASTOMA is a rare form of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children.
Football mascot Bradley Lowery, who has been taken to the hearts of the nation, is bravely battling the disease. Here’s all you need to know about the condition.
What is neuroblastoma?
Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in nerve cells that have been left behind from their development in the womb.
It usually develops in the adrenal glands next to the kidneys but can also form in the spinal cord, nect, chest, pelvis or abdomen and is able to spread to other organs.
It is unknown what causes the cancer but it affects around 100 children in the UK every year with many of them under five.
The outlook for children diagnosed with the condition varies and mainly depends on if the cancer has spread.
What are the signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma?
The early signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma can be very hard to spot, especially in young babies as they can be mistaken for other common conditions.
However, according to NHS Choices, signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma include:
- A swollen painful tummy
- Difficult swallowing
- A lump in the neck
- Blue lumps on the skin and bruising
- Fatigue, weakness and bone pain
- Jerky eye and muscle movements
How can neuroblastoma be treated?
There are five main treatments for neuroblastoma and doctors will decide which course of action to take based upon how advanced the disease is.
One option is surgery to remove the cancer and another is chemotherapy to try and kill the cancer cells.
Other treatments include radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant and immunotherapy.