Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Neuroblastoma and Liver Lesions

Last weekend I had a phone call from a father of a child with neuroblastoma. His son is in remission and over a year out of therapy. Following a week of stressful quarterly scans they received the dreaded news that they had a spot on the liver in the CT scan. There are 2 lessons to be learned from this that I think are both worth discussing.

First, if you have a child with high risk neuroblastoma you WILL have scans like these. I know it won't be easy but you might as well expect it. The fact of the matter is that we look so hard for neuroblastoma that we are bound to find something. It is the way things are. Accept it. The good news is that many (if not all, for some) of the sporadic "cancer-like" findings on quarterly scans will turn out to be nothing. Take a deep breath and, trust me, I come from "first hand" experience.

So, there you go, that was lesson 1.

The second lesson has to do with liver lesions specifically. The liver has never been one of my strong suits so I spent quite a bit of time this weekend becoming familiar with the issue. While I have heard of several people finding liver lesions in followup scans I really did not have a good feeling for what it truly meant.

It turns out that are a ton of high risk kids that have had lever lesions show up on scans. The best news? Many of the findings of children in remission of high risk neuroblastoma turn out to be benign. This inspired me to write an article illustrating everything I learned. If you ever find yourself in this position there are some things you should know. I detailed them here:

There you go. More than you ever needed to know but something you will be glad you read if you ever run into this situation.

That is what purpose is all about.

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