Neuroblastoma - Childhood: Coping with Side Effects

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about steps to take to help cope with physical, social, and emotional side effects. This page includes several links outside of this guide to other sections of this website. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Fear of treatment side effects is common after a diagnosis of a tumor, but it may be helpful to know that preventing and controlling side effects is a major focus of your child’s health care team. This is called palliative care, and it is an important part of the overall treatment plan, regardless of the stage of the disease.

There are possible side effects for every cancer treatment, but patients don’t experience the same side effects when given the same treatments for many reasons. That can make it hard to predict exactly how your child will feel during treatment.

Common side effects for each treatment option are described in detail within the Treatment Options section.  Learn more about the most common side effects of cancer and different treatments, along with ways to prevent or control them.

The specific side effects that can occur depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of cancer

  • Its location

  • The individual treatment plan, including the length and dosage of treatment

  • Your child’s overall health

Talking with your health care team about side effects

Before treatment begins, talk with your child’s doctor about possible side effects of the specific treatments your child will receive. Ask which side effects are most likely to happen and which are not, when side effects are likely to occur, and what can be done to prevent or relieve them.

And, ask about the level of caregiving your child may need during treatment and recovery, as family members and friends often play an important role in the care of a child with neuroblastoma. Learn more about caregiving.

In addition to physical side effects, there may be emotional and social effects as well. Patients and their families are encouraged to share their feelings with a member of their health care team who can help with coping strategies, including concerns about managing the cost of your child’s cancer care

During and after treatment, be sure to tell the health care team about the side effects your child experiences, even if you feel they are not serious. Sometimes, side effects can last beyond the treatment period, called a long-term side effect. A side effect that occurs months or years after treatment is called a late effect. Treatment of both types of effects is an important part of survivorship care. Learn more by reading the Follow-up Care section of this guide or talking with your child’s doctor.

The next section in this guide is Follow-up Care and it explains the importance of check-ups after cancer treatment is finished. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.