Neuroblastoma - Childhood: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2019

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of children who are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

Each year, about 800 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States. It accounts for 6% of all childhood cancers in the United States. Almost 90% of neuroblastoma is found in children younger than 5. It is the third most common type of cancer in children in general and the most common cancer in children younger than 1 to 2 years old. It is rare in people older than 10.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of children live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for neuroblastoma is 80%. However, a child’s survival rate depends on many factors, particularly the risk grouping of the tumor.

For children with low-risk neuroblastoma, the 5-year survival rate is higher than 95%. For children with intermediate-risk neuroblastoma, the 5-year survival rate is between 90% to 95%. For high-risk neuroblastoma, the-5-year survival rate is around 40% to 50%. See Stages and Groups for information on risk groupings. About 2 out of 3 children with neuroblastoma are diagnosed with the disease after it has spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for children with neuroblastoma are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of children with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your child’s doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2019, and the ACS website (January 2019).

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by neuroblastoma. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.