Once the cancer is found, your doctor will determine its stage. This is important not only for the choice of treatment but also the prognosis. In general, stages of neuroblastoma include:
- Stage I – the tumor is localized and can be totally removed by surgery.
- Stage IIA – the tumor is still localized but has affected lymph nodes connected to it.
- Stage IIB – at this stage, the neuroblastoma has reached both the lymph nodes connected to the tumor and the lymph nodes nearby, which makes surgery removal difficult.
- Stage III – at stage 3, the cancer has increased in size, and surgical removal is not possible.
- Stage IV – neuroblastoma at this stage has reached not only lymph nodes nearby but other distant parts of the body.
- Stage IVS – children younger than 1 year old mostly experience Stage IVS neuroblastoma. At this stage, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body: eyes, liver, skin or spinal cord. Surprisingly, despite its aggressive characteristic, sometimes, the tumor goes away on its own with no special treatment.