Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Neuroblastoma Overview

What is a neuroblastoma?
A person with a neuroblastoma has abnormal nerve cells that multiply out of control. These nerve cells produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, heart rate and digestion. Most of the time, the tumors form in the nerve cells of the adrenal gland, but they may form in other parts of the body. These tumors may also spread to other parts of the body. The cause for neuroblastoma is unknown, but genetics may play a role in determining risk.

What are the symptoms of a neuroblastoma?
Symptoms of a neuroblastoma depend on the location of the tumor. Symptoms of a neuroblastoma in the abdomen may cause abdominal swelling, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and frequent urination. Symptoms of a neuroblastoma in the chest may include cough, breathing difficulty, wheezing, facial swelling, and a rapid pulse.

How does the doctor treat a neuroblastoma?
Treatment of a neuroblastoma may include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery to remove the tumor.

Continue to Neuroblastoma Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Neuroblastoma References
  1. Riley RD, Heney D, Jones DR, Sutton AJ, Lambert PC, Abrams KR, Young B, Wailoo AJ, Burchill SA. A systematic review of molecular and biological tumor markers in neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jan 1;10(1 Pt 1):4-12. [14734444]
  2. Takeuchi LA, Hachitanda Y, Woods WG, Tuchman M, Lemieux B, Brisson L, Bernstein M, Brossard J, Leclerc JM, Byrne TD, et al. Screening for neuroblastoma in North America. Preliminary results of a pathology review from the Quebec Project. Cancer. 1995 Dec 1;76(11):2363-71. [8635044]
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