Neuroblastoma

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Overview

Neuroblastoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in certain types of nerve tissue. Neuroblastoma most often begins in the adrenal glands, which are on top of the kidneys. It can also form in nerve tissue in the neck, chest, abdomen, or spine.

Neuroblastoma most often occurs in children younger than 5 years of age. Sometimes it forms before birth and is found during a routine pregnancy ultrasound. In children aged 6 months or younger, the disease sometimes goes away without treatment.

Neuroblastoma is usually found when the tumor begins to grow and cause signs or symptoms. By the time it is diagnosed, the cancer has usually metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).

Neuroblastoma may be found in the adrenal glands and paraspinal nerve tissue from the neck to the pelvis.