Cancer occurs whenever the cells in your body start to lose control of their growth and engulf normal cells in their smothering presence. Cells in every part of your body have the potential to turn cancerous then proceed to spread out to other areas of your body. The forms of cancer that you see in adults are quite different from the types that you’ll find developing in children.
Neuroblastoma manifests in early nerve cells, most commonly in a fetus or embryo. The term neuro is used to refer to the nerves that it targets while the term blastoma describes cancer that manifests in developing or immature cells. As such, you’ll find this cancer more prominent in children at the infant stage while it’s rarer above the age of 10.
There are still some cases of neuroblastoma in children above the age of 10 but the numbers are far fewer than in younger children. There are many things that could cause neuroblastoma, and today, we’re going to take a look at eight of them.
One to two percent of neuroblastoma cases are related to heredity. These children have inherited a higher chance of developing neuroblastoma due to the genes of one or both of their parents. That said, the majority of neuroblastoma cases do not appear to be due to hereditary factors. Children who have the familial type of neuroblastoma often hail from families containing multiple relatives that suffered from neuroblastoma when they were an infant. The age of hereditary neuroblastoma is younger on average in comparison to cases of neuroblastoma not related to genetic inheritance.
These non-familial neuroblastomas are referred to as sporadic cases. If someone with neuroblastoma has tumors developing in various places in their body simultaneously, this suggests that their case may be familial rather than sporadic. In such a scenario, other relatives should go for genetic testing. Whether the neuroblastoma was inherited or not, it still has the potential to spread to other organs.