Adenocarcinoma of the Colon in a 10-year-old child
Colonic adenocarcinoma is rare in children, more so in the first decade of life. Owing to the non-specificity and vagueness of symptoms, most patients in this age group present with advanced malignacy. The authors report a case of adenocarcinoma of the colon in a 10-year-old female child presenting with a history of abdominal pain, distention and constipation. Barium enema highlighted a narrowing of the distal ascending colon with laparotomy revealing a growth involving the caecum and ascending colon. Histology confirmed it as a poorly diffentiated mucin secreting adenocarcinoma. A right hemicolectomy with end to end ileo-transverse anastomosis was perfomed. Four months later, she presented with symptoms of intestinal obstruction. Intraoperatively, widespread metastatic nodules with recurrent tumour were noted. It is important for clinicians to be aware that colorectal carcinoma does occur in children, and age alone should not be a basis for its exclusion. This case is presented to draw attention to a disease in which the prognosis, by wider recognition of its occurrence in childhood, might be improved.