A MUM has told of her pain after what she thought was a pulled muscle in her daughter's back turned out to be a rare form of cancer.

Hannah Potter thought her little girl, Flo, had a minor injury after climbing trees and playing.

The six-year-old started to complain of an ache in July but within a few weeks couldn't get off the sofa by herself.

Covid restrictions stopped doctors from seeing the youngster face-to-face, and they too put it down to a muscular strain.

She went to hospital over her worries but was sent away after being told it was muscular.

After going to A&E again, medics thought Flo could have appendicitis – and when they looked further into that they found the High-Risk Neuroblastoma.

Hannah told Birmingham Live: "She was blue lighted to Leicester and the surgeon said she didn't think it could be that as the pain was ongoing for five weeks.

"They thought it could be a compacted bowel but one young doctor kept bringing us specialists to help.

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"She was on morphine and then did an MRI scan and called us half an hour later.

"They said she had cancer and they thought it was leukaemia. She was taken then to Nottingham where she was diagnosed with High-Risk Neuroblastoma."

The family had to be told separately due to Covid guidelines.

Hannah said: "Her dad had already been in to talk to the doctor as we were only allowed one parent in at a time.

"He was told and I saw his face and thought 'oh my God'. Then I went in and the lady went through it all with me too."

She added: "She is having intense chemotherapy – five different ones. Flo had over 100 areas of cancer throughout her body, even in the bones in her face."

For the youngster to get stem cell treatment she needs to get down to three, but she still has about 12 areas of cancer.

The family are fundraising for a treatment in the US that could stop the cancer from returning.

Signs of neuroblastoma:

The early signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma can be very hard to spot, especially in young babies as they can be mistaken for other common conditions.

However, according to NHS Choices, signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma include:

  • A swollen painful tummy
  • Constipation
  • Breathlessness
  • Difficult swallowing
  • A lump in the neck
  • Blue lumps on the skin and bruising
  • Fatigue, weakness and bone pain
  • Jerky eye and muscle movements

A GoFundMe page has already raised over £32,000 of the £250,000 needed.

Stomach problems are a red flag for the disease, but it can also cause fever, bone

Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that develops in nerve cells that have been left behind from their development in the womb.

It usually develops in the adrenal glands next to the kidneys but can also form in the spinal cord, neck, chest, pelvis or abdomen and is able to spread to other organs.

It is unknown what causes the cancer but it affects around 100 children in the UK every year with many of them under five.

The outlook for children diagnosed with the condition varies and mainly depends on if the cancer has spread.



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