The treatment for ganglioneuroblastoma depends on the spread of the cancer, age, and other risk factors. Possible treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplant, and immunotherapy. Many children with ganglioneuroblastomas have a good chance of survival following proper treatment. Because the cancer can grow and spread, finding it early and beginning treatment right away are important. If a ganglioneuroblastoma is suspected, it is suggested to contact a doctor immediately.
- Surgery: If the cancer has not spread, doctors may choose to take it out. Even if surgery is used, a child may still need chemotherapy or radiation therapy to make sure that all of the cancer is gone.
- Chemotherapy: This treatment involves the use of drugs that are put directly into the blood so that they can reach the cancer cells and destroy them. These drugs have some side effects, such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. These agents are used in combination with each other and other therapies. Some agents used in the treatment of ganglioneuroblastomas include antineoplastic agents (cisplatin, carboplatin, doxorubicin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide, thiotepa, and vincristine), colony-stimulating factors (filgrastim), and chemoprotective agents (mesna).
- Radiation therapy: This therapy uses high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells.
- Stem cell transplant: This procedure helps replace bone marrow in the body. The body's bone marrow is the factory for new blood cells. Without bone marrow, dead cells cannot be replaced, and cells cannot be made to fight against disease. Unfortunately, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation may destroy bone marrow while they work to destroy the cancer. To fix this problem, a stem cell transplant may be used. Stem cells are special cells that make their way into the bone marrow and replace the good cells that were destroyed. Stem cells may be taken from the person receiving the treatment or from someone else.
- Immunotherapy: This treatment uses the body's own immune system to fight the cancer. Immunotherapy is often used after other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
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