Recognizing the Symptoms: Warning Signs of Solid Tumors

A malignant tumor is an abnormal growth of cells. Growing uncontrollably, these tumor cells invade adjacent healthy tissue, spreading to other parts of the body. If untreated, malignant tumors are fatal. Solid tumors include:

Symptoms of malignant solid tumors often include swelling or a mass that can be palpated. Other less specific signs can be weight loss, fever or vague feelings of ill health. Treatment typically includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these.

Warning Signs

Because children may ignore or not recognize symptoms of illness, or be too young to communicate them, parents or caretakers should make certain children have regular medical checkups with their pediatricians or primary health care providers. Be alert to signs that indicate something might be wrong.

How does a parent distinguish between a relatively minor illness and a serious illness such as cancer? If a child has any of the following symptoms that are persistent, seek medical attention. Of course, these symptoms can occur for reasons other than serious illness. Please discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor.