BMJ Case Reports 2018; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-223739
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Unusual case of anorexia

  1. Helene Sudour-Bonnange4
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, Jeanne de Flandres hospital, CHRU Lille, Lille, France
  2. 2Department of Pediatric Digestive Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France
  3. 3Department of genetics, CHRU Lille, Lille, France
  4. 4Pediatric and AYA oncology Unit, oscar lambret center, lille, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helene Sudour-Bonnange, h-sudour{at}
  • Accepted 29 April 2018
  • Published 4 June 2018


We report the case of a 15-year-old female patient suffering from progressive anorexia, weight loss and recurrent abdominal pain, initially diagnosed as anorexia nervosa. She eventually presented with severe malnutrition and acute bowel obstruction, revealing a mass of the transverse colon. A well-differentiated Lieberkühn adenocarcinoma was established by histology. The patient underwent transverse and right colectomy and was treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is predominantly a disease of older adults and is extremely rare in children and adolescents. Seldom suspected, it is more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, with unfavourable tumour histology and poor outcome. Young patients diagnosed with CRC should receive genetic counselling regardless of their family history or tumour type. This reports’ take-home message is that recurrent and persistent digestive symptoms in the young should alert physicians and lead to further investigations.


  • Contributors LD, EA, SL and HS-B treated the patient. LD designed the study, collected the data and wrote the case report. HS-B developed the idea, supervised the writing and provided guidance in all steps. EA and SL critically revised the case report for accuracy and appropriateness of intellectual content and served as scientific advisors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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