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Two factors that affect the neuroblastoma survival rate are the age of the child and how far the cancer has spread. In some cases affecting very young children, the tumor may either disappear without treatment, or may enlarge and form a non-cancerous growth which can be surgically removed. Younger children generally have a better prognosis than older ones. For children of any age, if the tumor is diagnosed very early before it has spread, the cure rate is over 90 percent. The long-term prognosis of this type of childhood cancer will worsen to the degree the tumor has advanced.
A cancerous tumor is classified as Stage 1 through Stage 4. In Stage 1, only one tumor is present and it is confined to the location where the cancerous cells originated. It can be completely surgically removed and all lymph nodes are cancer-free. The neuroblastoma survival rate of this stage is over 90 percent.
Stage 2A categorizes a tumor that is not easily removed, but is present on only one side of the body. All of the lymph nodes are cancer-free. A tumor in Stage 2B is still only on one side of the body, but the lymph nodes on the same side of the body are affected. The lymph nodes on the opposite side are cancer-free. Stage 2 neuroblastoma survival rates of patients over one year old will vary from 75 to 90 percent.
A malignant tumor can be categorized as Stage 3 for different reasons. It is placed into this category if it has spread and is found on both sides of the body, with or without the lymph nodes on both sides being affected. When doctors refer to cancer being on both sides, they mean it is found on both sides of an imaginary line drawn down the center of the body. A tumor is also denoted as being Stage 3 if it is on one side of the body, but is found in the lymph nodes on the other side. The neuroblastoma survival rate of patients in Stage 3 as well as Stage 2B is about 50 to 70 percent if they are older than one year of age, and about 80 percent if they are younger.
Stage 4 tumors refers to those that have advanced to affect the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and other organs. Stage 4S applies to infants who have a tumor only on one side of the body, but which has spread to other organs. The Stage 4 and Stage 4S neuroblastoma survival rate of patients under one year old is 50 to 80 percent, while the rate for patients over one year is 10 to 40 percent.
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