About Neuroblastoma

Signs and symptoms of Neuroblastoma can greatly vary and are largely dependent on where to primary tumor is located and if the disease has metastasized to other organs.

The most obvious sign of Cian’s disease was his black eye of unknown origin, commonly referred to by clinicians as ‘raccoon eye’.

Orbital metastases can be found in up to 20% of children with stage IV Neuroblastoma and for this reason the appearance of raccoon eye is sometimes described as a hallmark symptom of Neuroblastoma.

In many other cases of Neuroblastoma symptoms and signs may not be so clear – according to the Pediatric Oncology Resource Center, Neuoblastoma has been called the "great masquerader" because its symptoms mimic so many other diseases or common/benign childhood conditions.

In talking to other Neuroblastoma families, the following are symptoms that their children presented with prior to diagnosis:

  • Lump in the belly, neck, or chest
  • Constipation
  • Bulging eyes
  • Uncontrolled eye movement
  • Bone pain
  • Swollen stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Painless, bluish lumps under the skin in infants
  • Weakness or inability to move a body part (paralysis)
  • Fever
  • Night Sweats
  • Lethargy
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Flat, red, pinpoint spots under the skin (caused by bleeding)
  • High blood pressure
  • Jerky, twitchy, muscle movements
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, or scrotum