Esophageal Reflux and gastric cancer in children

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

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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.