After neuroblastoma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer has spread from where it started to other parts of the body.
The process used to find out the extent or spread of cancer is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process helps determine the stage of the disease. For neuroblastoma, stage is one of the factors used to plan treatment. The results of tests and procedures used to diagnose neuroblastoma may also be used for staging. See the General Information section for a description of these tests and procedures.
"Selected Vegetables" and "Sun's Soup " are different mixtures of vegetables and herbs that are being studied as treatments for people with cancer (see Question 1).
Dried and frozen forms of Selected Vegetables are sold in the United States as dietary supplements (see Question 1).
The vegetables and herbs in Selected Vegetables/Sun's Soup may contain substances that block the growth of cancer cells and/or help the body's immune system kill cancer cells (see Question 2).
The following tests and procedures also may be used to determine the stage:
Lumbar puncture: A procedure used to collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spinal column. This is done by placing a needle into the spinal column. This procedure is also called an LP or spinal tap.
Lymph nodebiopsy: The removal of all or part of a lymph node. A pathologist views the tissue under a microscope to look for cancer cells. One of the following types of biopsies may be done:
Excisional biopsy: The removal of an entire lymph node.
Incisional biopsy: The removal of part of a lymph node.
Core biopsy: The removal of tissue from a lymph node using a wide needle.
Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy: The removal of tissue or fluid from a lymph node using a thin needle.
X-rays of the chest, bones, and abdomen: An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
Bone scan: A procedure to check if there are rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells, in the bone. A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive material collects in the bones with cancer and is detected by a scanner.
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
Cancer can spread through tissue, the lymph system, and the blood:
Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.