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Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a type of childhood cancer that comes from immature “neural crest” cells, which are specialized cells involved in developing the nervous system and the adrenal glands (glands found near the kidneys that make hormones like adrenaline). If some of the neural crest cells grow out of control, they can become a neuroblastoma tumor. These tumors may be found in the abdomen, starting from the adrenal gland, or starting along the spine in either the chest or the abdomen. Neuroblastoma can grow just in one place, or can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body such as the lungs, bone marrow, lymph nodes, or liver.

The average age at neuroblastoma diagnosis is 18 months old. Most children with neuroblastoma are younger than 5 years old, and it is only rarely seen in children over age 10. Neuroblastoma can act very differently in different patients. Often it grows and spreads quickly, but sometimes, in infants, neuroblastoma can stop growing on its own. 

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