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Symptoms and diagnosis
Neuroblastoma signs and symptoms
Neuroblastoma is the most common tumor in infants and young children occurring outside the central nervous system. It is usually diagnosed before the age of 5 and most commonly develops in the abdomen or along the spine.
Neuroblastoma symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumors in the body. Symptoms can include:
Unusual lump or mass
Swollen stomach or belly pain
Problems breathing or swallowing
Weight loss or lack of appetite
Swelling in the face or throat
Chronic fatigue and general aches and pains
Problems with urination or bowel movements
Your child’s doctor will do a full physical exam and take a detailed medical history. Additional tests may include:
Urine test to determine a substance called catecholamines that is produced by the tumor
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Computerized tomography (CT) scan
Biopsy of the tumor
Treatment for neuroblastoma is specific to your child’s needs. It may include:
Surgery - When the tumor is in an area that doctors can reach safely, surgery will be done to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Radiation therapy - High energy X-rays are used to shrink tumors and prevent them from growing
Bone marrow transplant
Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders
At UW Health, we offer the most advanced treatment options. Our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.
Care for your child
Receiving care from the UW Health Kids hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at American Family Children’s Hospital means you have access to the knowledge and skills of many medical and support specialists for your child’s complex health diagnosis like cancer.
Meet our team
An experienced team providing your child with the care they deserve
Our pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Carbone Cancer Center which is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation means that the doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education.
Patient and support services
You’re never alone
There are services available at both American Family Children’s Hospital and in the community to help patients and their families through every step of their journey.
Child Life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties, and the American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:
Positive Image Center
Spiritual care services
Tyler's Place (sibling child care)
Pediatric cancer services
With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.Learn more