Neuroblastoma almost always develops in infants and young children. It rarely occurs in children over 10 years of age.
Neuroblastoma begins in neuroblasts, which are immature cells in the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for actions such as blushing, increasing heart rate or your pupils’ dilating. These are known as involuntary actions.
This solid tumour can occur anywhere in the body, but it usually starts in the abdomen, often in one of the two adrenal glands, which are just above the kidneys. Other common sites are the chest, neck or pelvis.
In 2016, approximately 160 new cases of Neuroblastoma were diagnosed in Canada. (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2017).