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Breast And Colorectal Cancers Remain More Aggressive In Children, Studies Find

Update Date: Oct 30, 2014 10:15 AM EDT

The occurrence of breast and colorectal cancer is rare in children but when they occur, they become far more precarious, suggests a pair of studies. 

Both breast cancer and colon cancer are known as adult conditions. 95 percent of new breast cancer cases occur in women age 40 and older, according to American Cancer Society. 

"The thought that kids even face these diseases is surprising," said Morgan K. Richards, MD, research fellow in the division of general surgery at Seattle Children's Hospital, in the press release. "But that's why it's important to study such diseases. Although rare, they are not impossible to find in children. We need to better understand how these cancers present and progress so we know how to recognize them clinically and so we can counsel patients and their families."

Dr. Richards and her colleagues looked at several years of patient medical records (1998 to 2011) entered in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) of the American College of Surgeons and American Cancer Society. Of the 2,636,722 breast cancer patients, only 574 were age 21 or younger, the press release added.

The studies will be presented this week at the 2014 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. 

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