Michael Bublé and his wife, Luisana Lopilato’s 3 year old son Noah was diagnosed with a very rare type of liver cancer, which affects only 1 in 1 million children, in November, 2016. The parents immediately sought the best treatment and Noah then underwent a 4-month journey of treatment.
In early February, Noah’s Aunt Daniela Lopilato, a nutritionist, who was also the one who shared the news that Noah’s diagnosis was liver cancer back in November, shared the happy news that Noah is cancer-free on Argentinian daytime TV.
Michael and his family chose to keep Noah’s exact diagnosis private, but it is most likely Paediatric Hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer affecting children.
Treatment in most cases involves surgery to reduce the size of the tumour with chemotherapy, then surgery to remove the cancerous part of the liver.
The liver is one of the few human organs that can grow back. More chemotherapy post surgery generally ensures that the cancer cannot return.
If liver cancer is caught early enough there is an 80% chance of survival, which drops to as low as around 20% if the cancer is not caught early enough and spreads to the surrounding organs. It seems that Noah’s cancer was caught at a very early stage, allowing for quick treatment that has no doubt saved his life.
According to Dr Jennifer Willert of the American Society of Paediatric Haematology/Oncology, this form of paediatric cancer is exceedingly rare.
However, here are a few of the possible signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- A lump, swelling, or pain in the abdomen.
- Abdominal swelling and/or pain
- Abnormal urine colour or blood in the urine
- High fever of unknown origin
- High blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, vomiting (infrequent symptoms)
- Night sweats
- Upset stomach
- Weight loss
Wilms’ Tumour is the third most common childhood cancer and accounts for 6-7% of childhood cancer cases. It is most prevalent in children between the ages of 3 and 4 years.