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Children with neuroblastoma usually have surgery. The first surgery your child has may be a biopsy, in which a small sample of tumor cells is removed and checked for cancer. The standard treatment is to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Depending on the location of the tumor, doctors may not be able to remove it entirely.

Doctors sometimes use chemotherapy or radiation therapy before or after surgery. Beforehand, these treatments are used to shrink a tumor so that it’s easier to remove completely. Even when doctors are able to remove the entire tumor surgically, they may suspect or know that cancer cells are still in the child’s body. So they often use chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both afterward to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Surgeons at Seattle Children’s perform surgery for our childhood neuroblastoma patients.