Neuroblastoma staging

Cancer Australia’s factsheet provides an overview of neuroblastoma staging and the symptoms and treatment that can be experienced. It covers topics such as risk factors for the disease, how diagnosis is made, and what support services are available.

Diagnostic tests will also help indicate the stage of the tumour. Staging determines where the tumour is, how large it is, which nearby organs are involved, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This will be important for the treatment team to assess the best options, and to determine the prognosis for your child. See below for a commonly used way of staging neuroblastoma, but please note this is just a guide. Speak to your treating team for information specific to you.

The tumour is only in one part of the body, and all of the tumour that can be seen has been removed by surgery.
Stage 2 includes stages 2A and 2B:
Stage 2A – the tumour is only in 1 part of the body, but not all of the tumour that can be seen has been removed by surgery
Stage 2B – the tumour is only in 1 part of the body, and all of the tumour that can be seen has been removed by surgery. However, there are neuroblastoma cells in nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 3 involves 1 of the following:
The tumour has not been completely removed by surgery and has spread to the other side of the body or to nearby lymph nodes
The tumour is on 1 side of the body but has spread to lymph nodes on the other side of the body
The tumour is in the middle of the body and cannot be completely removed by surgery. It has spread to tissues or lymph nodes on both sides of the body.
Stage 4 includes stages 4 and 4S:
Stage 4 – the tumour has spread to other parts of the body such as distant lymph nodes, liver, bones or bone marrow, or the skin
Stage 4S (also called special neuroblastoma) – the child is less than 1 year old. The tumour is only in 1 part of the body, and all the tumour that can be seen may be removed by surgery. However, the cancer has spread to the liver, skin or bone marrow, and maybe the lymph nodes near the tumour.
Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on neuroblastoma, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.


Go to page Leave comment
  • Neuroblastoma: Key links

    According to CanTeen, neuroblastoma is the most common type of solid tumour in children. It is normally found in the adrenal glands of the kidney, but can develop in the nerve tissues of the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis. Cancer Research UK says neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that usually affects children under five. General information  Living with neuroblastoma – Practical information for during treatment – Neuroblastoma Australia: Advice and tips drawn from the experiences of families. Neuroblastoma staging – Cancer Australia: A factsheet on staging, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and support.  Podcasts  Neuroblastoma – Dr Geoff McCowage: Podcast about diagnosis and […]

  • Clinical trials bring hope – Lesley and Casey’s story

    On the Dell’s Children website, a mother and father share their story about how clinical trials brought hope to their family during their son’s cancer treatment. Rex was 17 months old when he was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. The article says: “Upon Rex’s diagnosis, Lesley and her husband, Casey, knew their family faced a long, uphill battle.  High-risk neuroblastoma is an aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer, and the odds for survival were not in their child’s favor.  They agreed to enroll Rex into a clinical trial study using an experimental drug, Unituxin, for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.” In this […]

  • Rhi’s story: adjusting to a new normal after cancer treatment

    My son Connor was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Thankfully he is currently in remission. Now that I finally have spare moments to breathe and reflect upon the whole traumatic journey of childhood cancer I have to admit that one of the most difficult parts was coming home. When my son was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma At the time of diagnosis we lived in Collinsville, a small mining community in rural North Queensland. Initially we were flown to Townsville hospital. After three days and much investigation we were transferred to Brisbane via Royal Flying Doctors. Our oncologist […]


Comments will appear below.

What do you think about this topic?