Esophageal Reflux and gastric cancer in children

Anna T. Meadows, MD
Last Modified: January 6, 2002

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My daughter is 10 and suffers about four to five times a year of reflux and gastric problems. Her reflux and gastric problems are due to a lot of antibiotics that have been given with treatments of omeprazole and other medicines for more than a year. Can children suffer from cancer of the stomach or esophagus?

Answer:

Anna T. Meadows, MD, Pediatric Oncologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania's Survivorship Research Program, responds:

Cancer of the esophagus and stomach are so rare in children that we do not even consider it as a potential diagnosis in most circumstances. Except for children with unusual other diseases (e.g., AIDS), we have never seen it in otherwise healthy children. Reflux should be treated and a gastroenterologist is the person to ask about what's best.

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