Caleb's Courage - Childhood Heroes
Caleb was diagnosed in April 2014 with a form of childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma. Below is some information about Neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers:
What is Neuroblastoma?
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor in childhood and the most common cancer for infants. There are over 700 cases of neuroblastoma each year in the U.S. Neuroblastoma is most often originates in the adrenal glands, which are located on top of each kidney. However, tumors can begin anywhere in the body. Other common sites for neuroblastoma are the chest, neck and pelvis. While neuroblastoma may be found in only one spot in the body at the time of diagnosis in some patients, in others the cancer may have spread (metastasized) from its primary location to the lymph nodes, bone marrow, or bones.
Many researchers believe that neuroblastoma develops when normal neuroblasts (the immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system) fail to mature into normal nerve cells. The sympathetic nervous system aids in the control of the body’s internal organs. The cells that make up neuroblastoma tumors are called neuroblasts. In neuroblastoma, the neuroblasts grow and divide without the usual controls, leading to the growth of a cancerous mass of cells, also called a tumor.
Signs and Symptoms of Neuroblastoma
The symptoms of neuroblastoma vary depending on the location of the tumor. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Abdominal swelling, pain, constipation or difficulty urinating if a tumor is present in the abdomen
- A lump or bump in the neck that can sometimes be accompanied by drooping of the eyelid, a small pupil, and lack of sweating on the same side of the face
- Bone pain
- Fatigue, if the disease has spread to the bone marrow
- Bleeding and bruising
- Difficulty breathing if the tumor is present in the chest
- Weakness or paralysis if the tumor is near the spinal cord
Other Forms of Childhood Cancer:
- Lymphoma (Cancer of the Immune System
- Leukemia (Cancer of the Blood)
- Sarcoma (Cancer of the Bone, Organ, or Tissue)
- Wilms Tumor (Cancer of the Kidneys)