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Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer in Kids

written by: Time2go • edited by: lrohner • updated: 2/28/2011

Colon cancer is a growth of malignant tumors that have invaded the lining of the larger intestine and rectum. Colon cancer usually affects men and women over the age of 50, but small kids suffer from this disease as well. Learn about the signs and symptoms of colon cancer in kids.

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    Prevalence of Colon Cancer in Kids

    Research shows that the signs and symptoms of colon cancer in kids are rare. In fact, only one child per million is diagnosed with this type of cancer. Since genetics are dominant factors when it comes to most cancers, it is very important to inform the doctor of the diseases or illnesses within the child's family history.

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    The Signs of Colon Cancer in Kids

    Colon cancer is treatable if caught in the early stages. However, this cancer can be difficult to treat in younger children because oftentimes they do not show any signs of having colon cancer until the tumors have progressed into the more dangerous stages. The most common signs of colon cancer are:

    • Rectal bleeding
    • Thin or bloody bile movements
    • Weight loss
    • Constipation
    • Vomiting
    • Stomach bloating

    Although there are many illnesses that appear to be similar to the signs listed above, these are some of the most common indications that a child might display if they have colon cancer.

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      The Symptons of Colon Cancer in Kids

      The symptoms of colon cancer in children are:

      • Nausea
      • Fatigue
      • Abdominal pain
      • Gas

      Keep in mind that kids are not likely to tell the parents about the changes that are taking place, so the parents are must communicate with their child about the warning signs.

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      Screening for Colon Cancer

      Because it can be difficult to know whether or not a child is suffering from colon cancer, the best option is to have him undergo special screening that is designed to identify any polyps or cancerous tumors located inside of the colon or rectum. These tests might include:

      • Colonoscopy
      • Sigmoidoscopy
      • Barium enema
      • Examination of stool samples

      A biopsy may also be required as well. A biopsy is when a piece of the child's cell and tissue matter is removed surgically and analyzed in a special laboratory. The results from the biopsy will determine whether or not cancerous cells are present within the colon, and whether those cancerous cells are malignant or benign.

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      Diagnosis and Treatment

      After a prognosis has been given, the parents or caregivers of the child should request a copy of the screening and test results. If the results are positive, then options for treatments should be discussed immediately before the cancer spreads. The treatment options for children may be different compared to an adult cancer patient, but the most common medical procedures include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. Paying close attention to the common symptoms of colon cancer in kids can be vital when it comes to the treatment and survival rate.

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      Sources

      Fingerote, Robert J. "Colon Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Treatment - Colon Cancer Symptoms on EMedicineHealth." EMedicineHealth.com. 25 Oct. 2005. Web. 25 Feb. 2011. <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/colon_cancer/page3_em.htm>.

      "Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment - National Cancer Institute." Cancer.gov. National Cancer Institute, 19 Nov. 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2011. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/unusual-cancers-childhood/Patient/page4>.

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