Neuroblastoma: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

A neuroblastoma is a type of malignant tumor (cancer) that develops in the nerve cells of the adrenal gland, neck, chest, or spinal cord. It is most commonly found in young children under the age of 5.

Some of the most common symptoms and signs of a neuroblastoma include bulging eyes, dark circles around the eyes, bone pain, abdominal distension, shortness of breath, weakness, paralysis, and a mass or lump in the abdomen, neck, or chest. Other associated symptoms can include failure to thrive in infants, fatigue, fever, easy bruising, and watery diarrhea.

Causes of neuroblastoma

The exact cause of neuroblastoma is unknown, but genetic mutations are likely to play a role.

Other neuroblastoma symptoms and signs

  • Abdominal Distension
  • Bone Pain
  • Bulging Eyes
  • Dark Circles Around the Eyes
  • Easy Bruising
  • Failure to Thrive in Infants
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Lump in the Abdomen, Chest, or Neck
  • Paralysis
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Watery Diarrhea
  • Weakness


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.