Hepatoblastoma research is in desperate need of funding as the federal Government does not support this area of research, mainly because Hepatoblastoma is deemed “rare” and does not affect many children each year. Current statistics show an average of 0.9 kids per million each year are diagnosed with this disease. It is only the “grass-roots” type of movement that can grow and support new research in order to save the lives of every child who is suffering from this rare disease.
Hepatoblastoma is a form of liver cancer that usually occurs in infants and arises in an otherwise normal liver.
- Liver tumors account for 0.5-2 percent of pediatric tumors and are the tenth most frequent tumors in children.
- Hepatoblastoma has an incidence of 0.9 per 1 million children.
- The median age of diagnosis is 1 year; most patients are diagnosed by 2 years of age.
- In contrast to hepatocellular carcinoma, prior hepatitis infection is not associated with an increased risk of hepatoblastoma.
- Children of families whose members carry a gene related to a certain kind of colon cancer (Familial colonic polyposis) and those with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome or hemi-hypertrophy may be more likely to develop hepatoblastoma.
Clinical Features and Symptoms
The cancer typically appears as an asymptomatic abdominal mass found on a routine physical examination or discovered incidentally by the parents. Other nonspecific features include weight loss, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, anemia, fever, vomiting and jaundice.
- Cure of hepatoblastoma is possible when the tumor can be completely removed by surgery. However, this is possible for only about half of the patients at the time of initial diagnosis.
- Unlike hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoblastoma is usually sensitive to chemotherapy and with treatment the tumor will shrink enough to allow total resection.
- Children whose tumor has spread outside the liver rarely survive long-term.
This is where the Baby V. Fund can help. With your assistence and dedication, we can change the lives of children striken with the deadly disease. As you will notice throughout this site, the motivation is our own daughter Vincenza (Baby V.) who was diagnosed at nine months old.
Thank you for your time and support.