Children have the ability to
ignore odds and percentages,
then maybe we can all learn from them.
When you think about it, what other chance is there but to hope?
We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell".
Raise Awareness with
is Temporary, Quitting Is Forever.
“There are 2 ways to live your
One is as
though nothing is a miracle.
is as though everything is a miracle.”
little girls fight against a childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a rare
and aggressive childhood cancer that is diagnosed in under 100 children in the
UK each year.
It is a solid tumour
cancer that begins in the nerve tissue in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis
but usually originates in the abdomen in the tissue of the adrenal gland.
Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed, have disease that has already
metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. The average age at diagnosis
is two years old.
Prognosis for neuroblastoma is dependent on age, stage of disease, and the
molecular biologic and cytogenetic characteristics of the tumour. There is very
little known about why neuroblastoma occurs, or about what factors increase the
risk for occurrence.
It is possible that children
may present very vague symptoms, similar to those of the more common non-
serious illnesses which makes the
disease very difficult to detect.
Many parents wonder if
they or a doctor should have noticed something sooner, but because this is such
a rare disease it is likely that neither a family doctor nor a Paediatrician
will ever see a child with neuroblastoma in a lifetime of practice.
Neuroblastoma is divided
into four stages
Stage 1: The cancer is localized (hasn’t spread). It is on one side of
the body. All visible tumours are totally removed by surgery. Examination of the
tumour's edges under the microscope may show some cancer cells. Lymph nodes
enclosed within the tumour may contain Neuroblastoma cells, but lymph nodes
outside of the tumour should be free of cancer.
Stage 2A: The cancer is localized, but because of its size, location, or
relationship to other organs, most but not all of the tumour can be removed by
surgery. It is on one side of the body. Lymph nodes enclosed within the tumour
may contain Neuroblastoma cells, but lymph nodes outside of the tumour should be
free of cancer.
Stage 2B: The cancer is localized, and may or may not be able to be
totally removed by surgery. It is on one side of the body. Nearby lymph nodes
outside the tumour contain Neuroblastoma cells, but the cancer has not spread to
lymph nodes on the other side of the body or elsewhere.
Stage 3: The cancer cannot be completely removed by surgery or it has
crossed the midline (defined as the spine) to the other side of the body. It may
or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes,
Or, it is on one side of the body but has spread to lymph nodes that are
relatively nearby but on the other side of the body.
Or, it is in the middle of the body and growing toward both sides and cannot be
completely removed by surgery.
Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant sites such as distant lymph
nodes, bone, liver, skin, bone marrow, or other organs. But the child does not
meet criteria for stage 4S.
Stage 4S (also called "special" Neuroblastoma): In this case, the child
is younger than 1-year-old. The cancer is on one side of the body and is
localized. It may have spread to lymph nodes on the same side of the body but
not to nodes on the other side. The Neuroblastoma has spread to the liver, skin,
and/or the bone marrow. However, no more than 10% of marrow cells may be
cancerous, and imaging studies do not show bone damage.
Recurrent: The cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated.
It may come back in the area where it first started or in another part of the
For Full Details of
September 2006, click on the
The aim of
this site is to raise awareness of Neuroblastoma and help you understand the
challenges faced by children and their families as they fight this deadly
disease, and hopefully inspire you to help stop the suffering of this rare but
deadly childhood cancer around the world.