Rare Cancers in Children

Updated at: Sep 01, 2012
Rare Cancers in Children

Rare Cancers in Children— Cancer in children is a rare incidence, however, there are various unusual cancer types that can occur in infancy and childhood.

Gunjan Rastogi
CancerWritten by: Gunjan RastogiPublished at: Aug 31, 2012

Although, the incidence of cancer is significantly low in children, there are some rare forms of cancer that have affected infants, kids and adolescents. Read on to know such cancer forms.


Rare Cancer of Abdomen in Children

  • Carcinoma of the Adrenal Cortex— This type of cancer is termed as adrenocortical tumour and is  most commonly encountered in the foetus and infants. Adrenal Cortex is the cortical part of the adrenal gland, which is responsible for the production of corticosteroid and androgen hormones. This type of cancer is classified as adrenocortical carcinomas and adrenocortical adenomas. Occurrence of adrenocortical carcinomas may trigger continuous secretion of hormones developing masculine characteristics in the person irrespective of gender.
  • Carcinoma of the Stomach— This is among the most unusual cancers found in kids. Asian kids are at an increased risk of gastric cancer, especially Japanese and Chinese kids. When a child is diagnosed with anaemia is when he/she is diagnosed with cancer of the stomach, which is also known as gastric cancer.  This type of cancer presents symptoms, such as pain in the upper abdomen, vomiting, nausea, change in bowel habits and tiredness. It often leads to reduced appetite and weight loss.[Read: What are the symptoms of Gastric Cancer?]
  • Cancer of the Pancreas— Also known as pancreatoblastoma, it is a rare type of cancer that is encountered by children and adolescents, though its incidence until now has been very rare. First described in 1959, the cancer of the pancreas is common amongst Asians  compared with the whites. The cancer of the pancreas can further be classified into squamous cell carcinomas, acinic cell carcinomas, liposarcomas, lymphomas and malignant insulinomas and glucagonomas. [Expected duration of Pancreatic Cancer]


Rare Head and Neck Cancer in Children


  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma— This unsual type of cancer develops in the epithelium of the nasopharynx, which is the lining of the nasal cavity and throat (pharynx). A very rare cancer in kids below 10 years of age, the cancer of the nasopharynx has a higher incidence in adolescents compared with other age groups.  The kids of North African and Southeast Asian origin have greater possibilities of developing this type of cancer than children of other origins. [Read: Unusual Cancers of Childhood]
  • Esthesioneuroblastoma— First characterised in 1924, this unusual cancer form arises from the olfactory epithelium and metastasises to the nasal cavity. The average age of the affected children lies within the adolescent age group .i.e, 12 to 19 years. The youngest child, who was diagnosed with esthesioneuroblastoma, was two years old. This type of cancer presents symptoms, such as those of loss of taste and vision.
  • Thyroid Tumours— Tumour of the thyroid gland is termed as adenomas or carcinomas. Adenomas are benign whereas carcinomas are malignant. Adenoma leads to enlarged growth of the gland. Malignant carcinoma metastasises to the lungs or lymph nodes present in the neck. Thyroid nodules in children are five times more susceptible than those in adults.


Other Rare Cancers of Childhood

  • Oral Cancers.
  • Salivary Gland Tumours.
  • Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours.
  • Melanotic Neuroectodermal Tumours of Infancy.
  • Laryngeal Cancer and Papillomatosis.
  • Retinoblastoma.


Read more articles on Cancer.



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