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

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Treatment

Treatment for children with pancreatic cancer may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas and part of the small intestine.
  • Chemotherapy.

See the PDQ summary on adult Pancreatic Cancer Treatment for more information.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of the body's digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).

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Anatomy of the lower digestive system, showing the colon and other organs.

Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Diagnostic and Staging Tests

Childhood colon cancer is often part of an inherited syndrome that causes the disease. Some colorectal cancers in young people are linked to a gene mutation that causes polyps (growths in the mucous membrane that lines the colon) to form that may turn into cancer later.

The risk of colorectal cancer is increased by having inherited certain conditions, such as:

  • Attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis.
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis.
  • Lynch syndrome.
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
  • MYH-associated polyposis.
  • Turcot syndrome.
  • Cowden syndrome.
  • Juvenile polyposis syndrome.
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

Colon polyps that form in children who do not have an inherited syndrome are not linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Symptoms of childhood colorectal cancer usually depend on where the tumor forms. Colorectal 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:

  • Tumors of the rectum or lower colon may cause pain in the abdomen, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Tumors in the part of the colon on the right side of the body may cause:
    • A lump in the abdomen.
    • Weight loss for no known reason.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Blood in the stool.
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