Solid Tumors: Overview

What is a solid tumor?

"Solid tumor" is a term used to describe many forms of cancer that can happen throughout the body.

Some types of cancerous (malignant) tumors tend to occur in young children, and others occur in adolescents and young adults. Different tumor types tend to occur in particular body locations, leading to characteristic signs and symptoms, such as bone pain in children with bone tumors, or swelling in the abdomen in children with Wilms tumor or neuroblastoma. Some children may be very ill, and some children may not have any symptoms at all.

How are solid tumors treated?

Solid tumors are a diverse set of diseases, each requiring a unique approach to diagnosis and treatment. Some children may be treated with surgery alone. Others may require treatment with chemotherapy or radiation. Some may require all three.

Cure rates vary based on the type of cancerous tumor, its location and how widespread it is in the body.

What causes a cancerous tumor?

In most cases, we don’t know what caused the cancer. Occasionally, someone carries a gene that makes them more likely to develop it – these people tend to develop certain types of cancer at certain ages. If we are suspicious that someone might carry one of these genes, we may recommend having them meet with a genetic counselor and having genetic testing done.

What types of solid tumors do we treat?

Here is a list of some of the more common types of tumors treated by the solid tumor team at Children’s Hospital Colorado:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Wilms tumor
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Hepatoblastoma

We treat these cancerous tumors alongside specialists in our Orthopedic Oncology Program:

We also treat a wide variety of other, more rare tumors. More information on specific tumor types can be found at the links below. You can also call us to get more information about the treatments that may be available for your child through the Children’s Hospital Colorado Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Helpful resources for cancerous tumors