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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) depends on the following:

  • Whether the entire tumor was removed by surgery.
  • Whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, liver, pelvis, or ovaries.

Treatment

Treatment for colorectal cancer in children may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor when it has not spread.
  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy for tumors in the rectum or lower colon.
  • Combination chemotherapy.

Children with certain familial colon cancer syndromes may be treated with:

  • Surgery to remove the colon before cancer forms.
  • Medicine to decrease the number of polyps in the colon.

See the following PDQ summaries on adult cancer for more information:

  • Colon Cancer Treatment
  • Rectal Cancer Treatment

Carcinoid Tumors

Carcinoid tumors usually form in the lining of the stomach or intestines, but they can form in other organs, such as the lungs or liver. These tumors are usually small, slow-growing, and benign (not cancer). Some carcinoid tumors are malignant (cancer) and spread to other places in the body. Sometimes carcinoid tumors in children form in the appendix (a pouch that sticks out from the first part of the large intestine near the end of the small intestine). The tumor is often found during surgery to remove the appendix.

Symptoms and Diagnostic and Staging Tests

Some carcinoid tumors release hormones and other substances. If the tumor is in the liver, high amounts of these hormones may remain in the body and cause a group of symptoms called carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid syndrome caused by the hormone somatostatin 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:

  • Redness and a warm feeling in the face and neck.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure.
  • Diarrhea.

Other conditions that are not carcinoid tumors may cause these same symptoms.

Tests that check for signs of cancer are used to diagnose and stage carcinoid tumors. They may include:

  • Physical exam and history.
  • Blood chemistry studies.

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

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