Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

What are the symptoms of neuroblastoma?

The following are the most common symptoms of neuroblastoma. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The symptoms of neuroblastoma vary greatly depending on size, location and spread of the tumor:

  • Abdominal mass, either felt during an examination or seen as swollen abdomen.
  • Tumors in the face or head can cause swelling and bruising of the area around the eyes and uncontrolled eye movement. 
  • Compression of kidney or bladder by the tumor may cause changes in urination. 
  • Bone marrow involvement may present as pain, limping, paralysis or weakness. 
  • Diarrhea may be present; diarrhea is caused by a substance produced by the tumor (vasoactive intestinal peptide or VIP). 
  • Fever. 
  • High blood pressure and increased heart rate may occur depending on location of tumor and the organs the tumor compresses.

The symptoms of neuroblastoma may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child’s physician for a diagnosis.