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Most symptoms of neuroblastoma are caused by growth of the cancer into nearby tissues or organs, or its spread to distant parts of the body such as bones or bone marrow. Symptoms may include:

  • lump or swelling in the abdomen (belly), neck or chest, or under the skin
  • stomach pain, feeling full or not wanting to eat, usually with weight loss
  • swelling in the arms or legs (if a tumour is pressing on blood vessels or lymph vessels)
  • problems going to the toilet (if the cancer grows into the bladder or bowel)
  • bulging eyes, or dark circles around the eyes
  • jerky, uncontrolled eye movements
  • bone pain
  • other unexplained pain
  • weakness or paralysis (if the cancer is pressing on the nerves or spinal cord)
  • trouble breathing or swallowing.

In some cases, neuroblastoma produces certain hormones that can cause diarrhoea, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, sweating and flushing of the skin.

Note about symptoms

Many conditions – including common childhood infections – can cause these symptoms, not just neuroblastoma. If your child has any of these symptoms and you are concerned, talk to your child’s doctor.

published: Sunday, 23 August, 2015