Each year there are about 100 new cases of Neuroblastoma in the UK. It is usually found in young children, and is the most common cancer among infants.
These solid tumours, which take the form of a lump or mass, normally begin in nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, or, most commonly, in the adrenal gland. They may also spread to other areas of the body, including bone and bone marrow.
The cause of Neuroblastoma is unknown, but most physicians believe that it is an accidental growth that occurs during normal development of the sympathetic nervous system.
Because the symptoms of the disease tend to be varied and vague, some two-thirds of children are not diagnosed until the disease is widespread. It is a tumour almost exclusively of childhood and there is no exact comparable tumour in an adult.