Neonatal Cancer: Types of Neonatal Cancer

Author(s): Gao Wanying

Neonatal cancer is a rare type of cancer that occurs in infants up to 28 days old. It is estimated to affect approximately 1 in every 33,000 live births worldwide. The most common types of neonatal cancer are neuroblastoma, leukemia, and brain tumors. Neuroblastoma is the most common type of neonatal cancer and accounts for approximately 50% of cases. It is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells and can occur in various parts of the body, including the adrenal glands, neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Symptoms of neuroblastoma may include a lump or mass in the abdomen or neck, a swollen belly, and difficulty breathing. Leukemia is another type of neonatal cancer and is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of white blood cells in the bone marrow. The symptoms of leukemia may include fever, fatigue, and frequent infections. Brain tumors are also a rare form of neonatal cancer, but they can be very aggressive and difficult to treat. Symptoms of brain tumors may include headaches, seizures, vomiting, and changes in vision or behavior. The causes of neonatal cancer are not well understood, but some risk factors have been identified. These include genetic mutations, exposure to radiation or certain chemicals, and certain viral infections. Diagnosis of neonatal cancer can be challenging because symptoms may be vague or absent, and diagnostic tests such as biopsies or imaging studies may be difficult to perform on such young infants.