Pediatric Colorectal Cancer

Pediatric Colorectal Cancer

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Summary

Cancer that starts in the colon or in the rectum is known as colorectal cancer.

Expanded overview

When a child has cancer that starts in the colon or in the rectum, this type of cancer is known as colorectal cancer. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are typically grouped together because they share so many of the same characteristics.

Types

There are several types of colorectal cancer, including:

  • Adenocarcinomas – the most common type of colorectal cancer, this type of cancer begins in the cells that makes mucus that lubricates the inside of the colon and rectum
  • Carcinoid tumors – this type of cancer begins in a special type of cell in the intestine that produces hormones
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) – this type of cancer begins in a type of cell in the wall of the colon called interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Lymphomas – this is a type of cancer of the immune system cells
  • Sarcomas – this type of cancer begins in the blood vessels, muscle layers, or other connective tissues in the walls of the colon or rectum

Causes

Colorectal cancer is typically caused by neoplastic colon polyps. Typically, it takes a period of several years for polyps to develop into cancerous cells. However, this progression can occur more quickly.

Symptoms

When a child has colorectal cancer, they may not experience any symptoms. When symptoms are present, they may include:

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