Intestinal cancer, also known as small intestine cancer or small bowel cancer, is very rare, accounting for less than 1 percent of all new cancer diagnoses. Stretched out, the small intestine is about 21 feet long and comprises a large part of the digestive system. Still, it accounts for only 10 percent of all gastrointestinal cancers.
Tumors in the small intestine may block the flow of food and affect digestion. As the tumor gets bigger, the blockages may cause pain in the abdomen. A slowly bleeding tumor may lead to anemia. Digested blood may cause the stool to become black or tarry. An obstruction—when the flow of food is completely blocked—may cause intense pain, nausea and vomiting and typically requires immediate surgery.
What Causes It, and Who’s at Risk?
- How old you are (average age at diagnosis is 60)
- Genetics (some disorders you’re born with raise the odds)
- Smoking and alcohol use
- High-fat diet
- Living or working near large quantities of some chemicals, like phenoxyacetic acid
- Other conditions that affect your gut, like Crohn’s, colon cancer, or celiac disease
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness or fatigue (sometimes a result of anemia)
- Bloody or tarry stools (from bleeding tumors)
- A noticeable lump in the abdomen
What Tests Can Show Whether I Have It?
- Blood chemistry tests. These measure the amount of certain substances your body is making.
- Liver function tests. Your doctor checks your blood to measure substances released by your liver (and how much).
- Fecal occult blood test. This detects blood in your stool.
- Lymph node biopsy. Your doctor removes a piece of your lymph node to check for cancer cells
- Laparotomy. This is major surgery. A doctor cuts into the wall of your abdomen to look for signs of disease
Which treatment your doctor recommends will depend on a number of things, like what type of cancer it is and whether it has spread. Surgery is the most common treatment. Your surgeon may remove the part of the small intestine that contains cancer. Or they may do “bypass” surgery so that food can go around a tumor that can’t be removed. Even if your doctor takes out all of the cancer during surgery, they may still suggest radiation therapy. This uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. They might also offer chemotherapy (chemo). These are drugs you take by mouth or through an IV tube. They, too, kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. A number of new therapies are being tested, as well. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in taking part in one of these clinical trials before, during, or after your treatment.
Book Your Appointment Today
Book your appointment with Dr. Ujwal Zambare he is having 12 years of experience in Gastro-intestinal surgery, oncology, minimally invasive surgery and Liver, Pancreas, Biliary tract surgery.
Dr. Ujwal Zambare
MBBS, MS (General Surgery), DNB (Gastrointestinal Surgery)
Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery
Copyright © 2021. Dr. Ujwal Zambare – Liver, Pancreas, Biliary Tract Surgery Specialist in Pune. | All Rights Reserved.
All Text and Images is for information of Patients and Public and doesn’t replace medical practitioners advice. Visit doctor for medical advice.