What is Ganglioneuroblastoma?
Ganglioneuroblastoma is a tumour composed of or arises from a mixture of neuroblasts (immature/ primary/premature nerve cells) and ganglion cells (a group of cell bodies of neurons). Ganglioneuroblastoma is an intermediate type of tumour that usually affects children under 10 years of age. An intermediate tumour is a tumour that is in between the benign (slowly growing and unlikely to spread) and malignant (rapidly growing and have a tendency to spread) tumour. Most commonly, it arises from the adrenal glands and abdomen. In 20% of cases, it also arises from the thoracic cavity (chest).
Disease Etiology (Causes)
There is no exact well-known cause. It is abnormal excessive proliferation of premature nerve cells and ganglion cells. A hereditary or genetic mutation may be the cause behind the development of ganglioneuroblastoma.
It is an intermediate type of tumour and more common in younger children between the ages of 2-4 years. In 75-80% of the cases, it occurs within the first 4 years of life. Both genders are equally affecting. It rarely develops in adults.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary according to the involvement of the organs. In cases where a tumour arises within the abdomen, the patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are;
- Abdominal lump or back lump
- Pain in the abdomen
- Watery Diarrhea or constipation with the above-mentioned symptoms
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- A person may become paralyzed if the tumour compresses the spinal nerves
Diagnosis and Treatment
Someone should visit the doctor if he/she observes an abdominal lump in his or her children’s abdomen. Following diagnostic tests can be used to make a diagnosis.
- Complete blood count ( CBC) with peripheral smear
- Urine complete examination
- Serum or urine dopamine level test
- Imaging techniques to identify the site and staging of the tumour-like CT-scan, MRI, X-Ray, and USG
- Tumour biopsy
Treatment options vary according to the staging or prognosis of the disease. In cases where the tumour is only limited to a certain region, a wide local excision of the tumour is the treatment of choice. However, in the advanced case where the tumour is spread to the other organs chemotherapy and radiotherapy along with or without surgical excision of the tumour is recommended. Other treatment options are autologous stem cell transplant and immunotherapy.
What Support can we Give for Ganglioneuroblastoma?
Ganglioneuroblastoma is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Ganglioneuroblastoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: Donations — Without a Ribbon is grateful when we receive every donation. Giving to Without a Ribbon helps us to provide ongoing support, organise the annual gathering and subsidise the costs of our Warriors attending these conferences. Sponsorship — If you wish to sponsor our charity, please contact us using this form. Volunteering — We are always looking for volunteers to help with different aspects of running our charity. So, if you are looking for volunteer work, please feel free to contact us.