Brief description of the disease
Neuroblastoma - this is one of the most common cancers that occur during childhood. This tumor ranks fourth in the number of tumors in children, after leukemia, CNS tumors, malignant lymphomas and sarcomas. The tumor is detected in a fairly early age, often from 1 to 3 years. Neuroblastoma in children can be localized in any part of the body, but the practical importance of the localization of the peritoneum and in the posterior mediastinum.
The causes of the disease are not fully understood. The only significant factor is considered to be hereditary.
Are 4 forms neuroblastoma in children depending on the cell type and location.
Melulloblastoma - localized swelling pretty deep in the cerebellum, which makes it impossible for its removal by surgery. It is characterized by rapid onset of metastasis, leading to rapid death of the child. The earliest symptoms of tumor seen in the coordination of movements and balance.
Retinoblastoma - a malignant tumor that affects the retina of the eye in children. The development of retinoblastoma cause blindness and brain metastases.
Neyrofibrosarkoma - a tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. Localized in the abdominal cavity, it metastasizes to bone, and lymph nodes.
Simpatoblastoma - a malignant tumor that is localized in the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal glands. Formed in the fetus during the formation of the nervous system. Simpatoblastoma can also be localized in the thoracic cavity. Due to the increase in adrenal tumors may be affected by spinal cord, resulting in paralysis of the limbs.
There are 4 stages of neuroblastoma in children:
Stage I - is characterized by localized neuroblastoma in place primary focus;
Stage II - tumor beyond the primary tumor but has no localization on the other side of the spine;
Stage III - Tumor extends to both sides of the spine and affected lymph nodes;
Stage IV - distant metastases gives neuroblastoma in soft tissues, bones, lymph nodes, etc.
Symptoms of neuroblastoma
The first signs of neuroblastoma in children is a pale skin, reducing apatite, vomiting, unreasonable whims, and constipation. Perhaps the appearance of subfebrile temperature, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, hair loss. With the development of symptoms and an increase in tumor grows. To measure the pulse rate may need a pulse oximeter.
When retroperitoneal neuroblastoma, an increase abdominal circumference, palpation palpable sedentary and uneven swelling. Maybe twisted rib arch or seen bulging in the lumbar region by the formation of a tumor. Often you will notice the vascular net in the upper abdomen and chest. Retroperitoneal neuroblastoma is characterized by very early changes in the blood, namely a decrease in hemoglobin levels.
Neuroblastoma in the mediastinum in the initial stages are asymptomatic. With the progression of the tumor it is noted germination of the spinal canal, which leads to paralysis of upper and lower limbs, and incontinence of urine and stool.
Often parents notice signs of disease, which are caused by the tumor are not, and metastases. This is due to the fact that the tumor metastasizes early enough. Symptoms depend on the localization of metastases. If it affects the bones of the skull can be seen on the scalp tumor bumps and bulging of the eyes and hemorrhage. Metastases to the liver, and there is an increase in its roughness. Bone disease characterized by pathological fractures.
Diagnosis of neuroblastoma
For the diagnosis of tumors conducted examination of the child with palpation of the abdomen, through which you can identify the tumor. Also prescribed blood and urine tests, carried ultrasound and x-ray, CT and magnetic resonance therapy. The final diagnosis is based on biopsy of the tumor and its histological examination.
Treatment of neuroblastoma
Treatment of neuroblastoma includes three main areas: the use of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery method.
Usually spend complex treatment of neuroblastoma using several methods. The first and second stage of neuroblastoma can be successfully treated by surgery. Although removal of retroperitoneal neuroblastoma is not always possible due to tumor invasion into surrounding tissue and due to major vessels. Sometimes it is possible partial removal of the tumor. A good effect has radiotherapy.
With proper treatment, the likelihood of recovery in children with neuroblastoma first and second stage - is quite high. The fourth stage has a poor prognosis of the disease, five-year survival, even when using the most modern treatment programs does not exceed 20%.