When families receive a diagnosis of neuroblastoma they can often experience confusion, shock and bewilderment. These are normal reactions.

It is important to remember that it is not your fault your child has cancer and is not the result of anything you have or have not done. It is likely that you have never heard the word ‘neuroblastoma’ before and may not have even realised that children can get cancer.

After your child is diagnosed with neuroblastoma

In the days around diagnosis, you may have met new specialists, doctors, nurses and support staff. They are experienced and will understand that families may need some time to absorb what has happened. Nobody is expected to understand complicated cancer treatments straight away and health professionals are very used to having to repeat themselves and rephrase things in a way that helps parents to understand. It is very common to find it difficult to take in and remember information for a length of time after diagnosis.

If your first language is different from that of your treatment team, try to arrange for a friend or family member to translate for you. If this isn’t possible, the hospital will help you find an appropriate interpreter.

Many parents can't think of any questions to ask when a doctor is there but think of all sorts of things as soon as they have gone. It is a good idea to write down questions that occur, to be discussed at a later date. Some people are shy of questioning or approaching members of the treatment team, feeling that they are too busy. They probably are very busy, but they will want to know and discuss any questions a family might have.

Treatment for neuroblastoma

Treatment depends on the risk group and stage of neuroblastoma a child has been given at diagnosis. Read more about the different types of treatment for neuroblastoma.