Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that affects children, mostly under the age of 5 years old.

Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK.

It is very rare that it can develop in older children, teenagers and adults.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that starts in a type of nerve cell called a neuroblast.

  • ‘neuro’ means nerve.
  • ‘blast’ means cells in early development.
  • ‘oma’ means a group of cells, or a tumour.


Most common symptoms in Neuroblastoma

Most common symptom is a lump in the tummy (abdomen). This could make your child’s tummy swell, causing discomfort or pain. Occasionally, it can affect the spinal cord. This can cause:

  • numbness
  • weakness
  • loss of movement in the lower part of the body.

Rarely neuroblastoma can appear as a lump in the neck, this might cause your child to be breathlessness or difficulty in swallowing.

Other symptoms depend on where the neuroblastoma starts in the body and whether it is just in one place or has spread to other parts of the body, this affects round half of children diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. If it does spread to other parts, other symptoms include, tiredness, high temperatures, loss of appetite.


For further guidance about Neuroblastoma, speak to your General Practitioner.