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Paediatric neuroblastoma presenting as an asymptomatic abdominal mass: a report on the importance of a complete clinical examination with a view to a timely diagnosis and therapeutic guidance in paediatric oncology


Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumour in children after lymphoblastic leukaemias, brain tumours and lymphomas.

We report a case of an NB in a previously healthy toddler. Though she had no abdominal complaints, on physical examination, she had a palpable mass identified over the right upper portion of the abdomen. Imaging studies demonstrated a heterogeneous tumour with an irregular capsule and visible calcifications.

After initial diagnosis, the patient underwent chemotherapy and was subjected to a radical resection of the tumour 4 months later. One-year follow-up of the patient showed no recurrence.

In children, oncological diseases are often asymptomatic or have non-specific symptoms, and in remote locations where specialised/paediatric services may not be available, the importance of medical training in paediatrics is highlighted, with emphasis on performing a complete clinical examination, namely abdominal palpation. The role of timely referral will be evident in such a situation.

  • Healthcare improvement and patient safety
  • Medical management
  • Medical education
  • Paediatric oncology

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