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Unusual Cancers of Childhood (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Unusual Cancers of the Abdomen

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Prognosis

The prognosis (chance of recovery) is good for patients who have small tumors that have been completely removed by surgery. The cancer is harder to treat when the tumor is large or when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body when it was diagnosed. These tumors can spread to the kidneys, lungs, bones, and brain.

Treatment

Treatment for cancer of the adrenal cortex in children may include the following:

  • Surgery with or without chemotherapy.
  • A second surgery for tumors that come back and for tumors that spread to other parts of the body.
  • A clinical trial of surgery with or without chemotherapy.

See the PDQ summary on adult Adrenocortical Carcinoma Treatment for more information.

Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Stomach cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lining of the stomach. The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste material out of the body. Food moves from the throat to the stomach through a hollow, muscular tube called the esophagus. After leaving the stomach, partly-digested food passes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine.

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The stomach and esophagus are part of the upper digestive system.

The risk of stomach cancer is increased by having an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori)bacterium, which is found in the stomach.

Symptoms and Diagnostic and Staging Tests

Many patients will have anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells), but have no symptoms before the cancer spreads. Stomach cancer may cause any of the following signs and symptoms. Check with your child's doctor if you see any of the following problems in your child:

  • Stomach pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss for no known reason.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Weakness.

Other conditions that are not stomach cancer may cause these same symptoms.

Tests to diagnose and stage stomach cancer may include the following:

  • Physical exam and history.
  • X-ray of the abdomen.
  • Blood chemistry studies.
  • CT scan.
  • Biopsy.

See the General Information section for a description of these tests and procedures.

Other tests used to diagnose stomach cancer include the following:

  • Upper endoscopy: A procedure to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) to check for abnormal areas. An endoscope is passed through the mouth and down the throat into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue or lymph node samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of disease
  • Barium swallow: A series of x-rays of the esophagus and stomach. The patient drinks a liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic compound). The liquid coats the esophagus and stomach, and x-rays are taken. This procedure is also called an upper GI series.
  • Complete blood count (CBC): A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
    • The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
    • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
    • The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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