Neuroblastoma is a cancer that starts in primitive nerve cells. It affects infants (younger than a year old) and children. It rarely occurs after age 10. On average, children with the disease are diagnosed between 1 and 2 years old.
Neuroblastoma often starts in the nerves in the adrenal glands. People have two adrenal glands, one on top of each kidney. These glands produce hormones that help control heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and the way the body reacts to stress. When a neuroblastoma starts in an adrenal gland, it usually grows into a large, firm mass that presses on other organs.
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