Understanding what neuroblastoma is, is critical for a cure with this condition. All cancer involves abnormal cells that grow and divide out of control. Neuroblastoma is the uncontrollable division of neuroblasts, which are nerve cells. It is explained, “Neuroblastoma is commonly diagnosed in children before age 5. The disorder occurs in approximately 1 out of 100,000 children and is slightly more common in boys” (Chen, Zieve, and Black). Neuroblastoma is a frequent cancer found in children which can make it even more lethal. Yi-Ben Chen, David Zieve, and Bethanne Black write, “Most neuroblastomas begin in the abdomen in the adrenal gland or next to the spinal cord, or in the chest.” Even though doctors can predict the places neuroblastoma will most likely start, they are not quite sure why it happens. It develops in the nervous system and this can be dangerous because the nervous system controls many necessary functions for living in our bodies such as blood pressure, heart rate, and the digestive system (Chen, Zieve, and Black). Infants and young children already are more susceptible to infection because of their weak immune system and adding on other comp...
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...at because many children aren 't diagnosed until the later stages of their cancer, more children will fall into the high risk group. “In about 2 of 3 cases, the disease has already spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body when it is diagnosed” ("What Are the Key Statistics about Neuroblastoma?"). More children going into the high risk group also means that more children who get diagnosed with neuroblastoma have a higher chance of dying.
Overall, understanding all the components of neuroblastoma is very important for the future of our children and their survival. To review, the symptoms of neuroblastoma can make diagnosis difficult because they appear as flu like symptoms until the tumor impairs more important systems of the body. Later diagnosis also means less chance of survival. Neuroblastoma is a fatal cancer that frequently affects young children.
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