Know More About Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a very rare type of cancer that usually affects children and develops in the immature nerve cells (neuroblasts) of the sympathetic nervous system. The term “neuro” refers to nerves, while “blastoma” refers to cancer that affects immature tissues or cells. This type of cancer is most common in infants and young children. It is rare in children older than ten years.
The immature nerve tissues called ‘neuroblasts’ divide abnormally into the regions like the chest, neck, spinal cord, or adrenal glands. The cancer cells are malignant; that is, they hold the potential to get moved to other organs of the body.
Generally, neuroblastoma occurs due to genetic mutations that cause the cell to divide uncontrollably and repeatedly. Usually, the normal cells accept the signals to stop dividing, but in the case of cancer cells, this property is lost.
If the person has a history of neuroblastoma, the chance of getting hit by the disease increases. The doctor will usually look for the family history while performing the physical examination.
Stages of Neuroblastoma
It is the primary stage of neuroblastoma and is termed L1. the elven cancer cells are restricted to only one area of the body and do not spread to other vital structures. This stage poses the lowest risks to the patients.
At this stage, the cancer cells remain confined to one part of the body but hold the potential to spread to other parts as well. it can usually spread to regional lymph nodes or large blood vessels.
Start spreading to other parts of the body. This is also a distant metastatic disease. This stage poses higher risks of infection.
This stage is a special condition where neuroblastoma affects children younger than 18 months of age. The infection can spread to other body parts like the liver, skin, or bone marrow. It is usually a low risk disease.
Signs and Symptoms
- Patients with neuroblastoma may have to face upset stomach conditions of diarrhea, constipation, or loss of appetite. There could be instances of cough affecting fever and a bloated belly.
- Usually, a lump or swelling appears in the chest, neck, pelvis, or abdomen. In infants. These lamps may appear purple or blue under the skin. The person may also develop bulging Eyes.
- The patient may experience trouble breathing, weakness, or paralysis in the feet and legs.
- Apart from this, the symptoms that appear as the disease advances include increased heartbeat and blood pressure, pain in the back, bones, or legs, issues in coordination and balance, uncontrollable eye movements, and Horner’s syndrome.
Initially, the doctor will perform a physical examination. Here, the doctor will look for possible signs and symptoms and ask the patient about what he has been feeling. the medical and family history will be taken to determine the scope of treatment
Blood and urine samples
The doctor will ask for urine tests to look for levels of certain proteins and Chemicals that will help determine if there is a cancerous situation or not. High levels of catecholamines can signify the presence of tumor cells. Also, blood samples are taken. To check the levels of blood cells and determine whether the presence of a tumor is there or not.
Various imaging tests like MRI, CT scans, X-rays, ultrasound, and MIBG are performed to look for the presence of tumors through detailed images of internal organs.
A biopsy is performed where a sample of the tissue from the affected area is collected to be analyzed in the laboratory. The specialist Looks for the characteristics that the cancer cells hold and determine the level of complexity it has reached.
Bone marrow biopsy
Medical procedures like bone marrow aspiration and bone marrow biopsy are performed to see if the tumor cells have spread to the bone marrow or not. To get the sample, usually on a needle is inserted in the lower back, and the tissues are extracted.
Side-effects of the treatment
- Even after the surgery is performed, the chances of the disease reoccurring are always there. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the intensity of treatment. The surgery increases the risk of easy bleeding or bruising, or getting infections. Severe Side Effects can include kidney problems and damage to the blood vessels.
- In the case of chemotherapy and tiredness is the most common symptom observed by all the patients. The feeling of nausea and vomiting remains persistent, along with issues like hair loss, Anaemia, sore mouth, loss of appetite, feeling sick, and getting exposed to infections easily.
- Radiotherapy leads to causing changes in hair and skin. There could be dry skin for rashes, along with some hair loss. It makes an individual feel tired, along with nauseous. The patient can also develop issues like diarrhea or constipation.
- The possible side effects that immunotherapy can lead to our increased heartbeat, decreased blood pressure, dissemination of fluids from small blood vessels, swelling, trouble breathing, and nerve pain.
- A bone marrow transplant may or may not lead to complications in an individual. The issues can involve infertility, cataract, organ failure, infections, stem cell failure, risk of developing another type of cancer, and graft-versus-host disease.
Usually, surgery is performed when the tumor is in its primary stage, and the surgeon removes the tumor along with some of the surrounding healthy tissues to avoid its further spread. Often, the therapies like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also be performed after the surgery to remove the remaining cancer cells, if any.
Chemotherapy in destroying cancer cells with the use of some specialized Chemicals and drugs that are injected into the body. depending on the location, size, and intensity of the tumor, the drugs are finalized and administered.
Radiation therapy and walls use high-energy beings like protons or X-rays to target tumor cells and kill them as much as possible. Radiation therapy can be external or internal. In the case of external Radiation therapy, a machine is directed towards the affected area, and the radiations are directed at the cells. during internal radiation therapy, a small device containing radioactive elements is placed in the body for a duration of time that releases radiation around the tumor.
Immunotherapy uses certain drugs to boost the immune system and fight cancer cells. It signals the immune system to perform strongly and identify the tumor cells to destroy them.
Bone marrow transplant
The bone marrow transplant can be performed using the healthy cells collected from the bone marrow. These are also called stem cells. The high intensity of chemotherapy is used to kill the cancer cells in the affected area, and the healthy cells are placed for normal cell formation.
Why rely on Ayurveda?
Being a part of the Ayurveda involves adapting to the natural methods of healing and dealing with the issues effectively. It involves using the correct and healthy lifestyle along with a good diet. Herbal and chemical-free medications are provided to ensure relief from symptoms and pain.
As per Ayurveda, the human body works upon Tridoshas, namely Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha. Any kind of imbalance among these three leads to an imbalance. The accumulation of toxins blocks the body’s channels. Ayurveda focuses on providing you with the right direction and guidance to lead a balanced life.
Following the natural methods of healing, it ensures that the diseases are removed from the root and restore energy and balance in the body. It incorporates a lot of ancient medical concepts and herbal formulations that are used for treating people. Ayurveda includes a blend of good routines, natural or home remedies, a healthy lifestyle, detoxifying therapy, and a proper diet.