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  • Jessica Scherl

High Risk Neuroblastoma

As of Friday, July 29th Payton has officially been diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma.


Neuroblastoma is a rare type of childhood cancer (about 6% of childhood cancers are neuroblastoma). It is the most common cancer in infants, but still very rare. It originates in the adrenal glands on top of the kidneys. As the cancer cells divide, it creates a tumor. It may also metastasize into other parts of the body including lungs, liver, bones, bone marrow, or lymph nodes. It is most commonly found in children under 5 years old or younger.


Payton's Neuroblastoma was diagnosed and confirmed after multiple imaging tests, blood tests and a biopsy. Imaging test included, X-Ray, MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound. The biopsy took small pieces of the tumor that were then tested and confirmed neuroblastoma.


Payton has landed in the high risk "risk category" due the nature of the tumor and results from a few different tests; (1) Genetic testing (2) Bone Marrow (3) MIBG scan. The Genetic test, looking for the MYCN gene, came back positive for Payton. The MYCN gene normally helps regulate cell growth. In Payton's case, her MYCN gene has turned into an oncogene, which can make cells grow and divide too quickly. The Bone Marrow aspiration came back showing about 5% of the Neuroblastoma cells present in her bone marrow. The MIBG scan is a nuclear scan test that uses injected radioactive material to highlight all cancerous neuroblastoma cells in a special imaging scanner. Her scan presented a more clear picture of the tumor itself and shows a small spot on her left leg bone.


Payton's tumor is coming from her left adrenal gland. It is about 4.5 x 3.8 x 5 inches in size and is wrapped around multiple blood vessels. The tumor is taking up a rather large space in Payton's abdomen which is pushing on most of her organs, making her very uncomfortable. Because of the size and complexity of her tumor, Chemo is the first course of action in hopes for shrinkage.


Chemo starts today and our little Neuroblastoma warrior is ready to fight!

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