What is the definition of Hepatoblastoma?
Hepatoblastoma is a rare malignant (cancerous) tumor of the liver that usually occurs in the first 3 years of life. In early stages of the condition, there may be no concerning signs or symptoms. As the tumor gets larger, affected children may experience a painful, abdominal lump; swelling of the abdomen; unexplained weight loss; loss of appetite; and/or nausea and vomiting. The exact underlying cause of hepatoblastoma is poorly understood. Risk factors for the tumor include prematurity with a very low birth weight, early exposure to hepatitis B infection, biliary atresia, and several different genetic conditions (i.e. Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, Aicardi syndrome, Glycogen storage disease, and Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome). Treatment varies based on the severity of the condition but may include a combination of surgery, watchful waiting, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.