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About Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer found in infants and the most common extracranial solid tumor found in children. There is very little known about why neuroblastoma occurs, or about what factors increase the risk for occurrence. There is no known cure. Every sixteen hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network which carries messages from the brain throughout the body. Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor that manifests as a lump or mass in the abdomen, around the spinal cord, or in the neck or pelvis.

Diagnosis of neuroblastoma can be complicated. It has been called the "great masquerader" because its symptoms mimic so many other diseases. Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body.

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in the U.S., and it kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma, and AIDS combined. There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.

5-YEAR CANCER SURVIVAL RATES
1962 VS. PRESENT*

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
(Cancer of the Blood)
Hodgkin Disease
(Cancer of Lymph Nodes)
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
(Cancer of Infection Fighting Cells)
Retinoblastoma
(Cancer Affecting Eyes)
Neuroblastoma
(Cancer of Peripheral Nervous Tissue)
Wilms Tumor
(Cancer of the Kidney)
Osteosarcoma
(Bone Cancer)
Rhabdomyosarcoma
(Solid Tumor of Muscle Cells)
Ewing Sarcoma
(Type of Bone Cancer)
Medulloblastoma
(Malignant Brain Tumor)
1962
Present

PERCENT SURVIVAL RATES
ALSAC/ST. Jude Children's Research Hospital Danny Thomas, Founder
1.800.822.6344 - www.stjude.org

*Based on national averages over the past 10 years in diseases St. Jude played a leading role in treating and curing.