Small intestine cancer occurs due to the uncontrolled division of small intestine cells. It ultimately converts into a mass or tumor. Men are at increased risk for small intestine cancer than women. In addition, smokers are at increased risk for this cancer.
Types of Small Intestine Cancer
It includes the following types of cancers:
- Adenocarcinomas: It develops in the lining of the small intestine.
- Sarcoma: The cancerous cells grow in the soft tissues of the small intestine.
- Carcinoid tumors: Cancer cells grow gradually and spread to the liver or other organs. Cancer might affect the appendix or rectum.
- Intestinal lymphoma: A lymphoma develops in the lymph nodes. Patients with intestinal lymphoma usually have immunodeficiency disorder.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor: It is a rare cancer, and almost 50% of them initiate in the stomach.
Symptoms of Small Intestine Cancer
Some of the symptoms of small intestine cancer are:
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
- Loss of weight
- Red or black appearance of stool
- Blood in the stool
- Flushing of skin
- Vitamin deficiency
- Appetite loss
- Lump in the abdomen
Causes of Small Intestine Cancer
The definite cause of this cancer is yet unknown. Certain factors increase the risk of small intestine cancer. These are:
- The risk of small intestine cancer increases with age
- Higher risk in males
- Inherited conditions, such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, and hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, increase the risk of small intestine cancer.
- High-fat diet
- Living near large quantities of certain chemicals such as phenoxy acetic acid.
- Crohn’s cancer
- Colon cancer/ celiac cancer
- Lymphedema (damaged vessels that connect to the lymph nodes)
Diagnosis of Small Intestine Cancer
The diagnostic techniques for detecting small intestinal cancer are:
- Blood tests: The doctor may advise the patients for blood tests. A reduced number of RBCs indicates anemia caused due to Small intestine tumors. A liver function test may also help determine if cancer has spread to the liver.
- Barium X-ray: The patients swallow barium, a chalky white substance. It forms a coating on the GI tract, making it easy to analyze the tract through x-ray.
- MRI scan: MRI helps evaluate how cancer affects the soft tissue of the small intestine.
- Biopsy: In some cases, it is very difficult to determine the presence of abnormal cells. In such cases, the doctor may advise surgery, such as laparotomy or endoscopic surgery, to obtain a sample from the small intestine for further analysis.
- Endoscopy: The procedure allows the doctor to view and operate on cancer using specialized instruments. The various types of endoscopy include capsule endoscopy, upper endoscopy, and balloon endoscopy.
- Other diagnostic tests: The other diagnostic tests include colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test, and CT scan
If the patients have certain symptoms and desire to be further tested for small intestine cancer, they should visit HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, which is one of the best hospitals for small intestine cancer in Nashik.
Treatment for Small Intestine Cancer
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have trained specialists who offer the best small intestine cancer treatment in Nashik. Different treatments available for small intestine cancer are:
Surgery: The most common procedure for the small intestine is surgery.
- Resection: The procedure includes the removal of the organ that is affected by cancer. The surgeon removes the section of the small intestine that has cancerous cells. It also includes the removal of lymph nodes near the small intestine.
- Bypass surgery: In some cases, removing small bowel cancer is not feasible. Thus, the surgeon may thus make a passage that bypasses the blocked small intestine.
Radiation therapy: The treatment requires high-energy radiation to kill cancer. The procedure also stops cancer cells from growing. There are two types of radiotherapy:
- External radiation therapy: The radiations are guided from the outside through a device.
- Internal radiation therapy: It is also called brachytherapy. The radioactive material is placed in the seeds, and the seeds are implanted near the cancerous tissues.
Chemotherapy: The treatment involves several drugs to stop the growth and division of cancer cells. The therapy also helps to kill cancer cells. In this procedure, the drug directly enters the bloodstream. The type of therapy (single or combination) depends on the type and stage of cancer.
Immunotherapy: The therapy involves the immune system of the body to fight against cancer. The doctors prescribe medications that interfere with the mechanism that assists the cancer cells in hiding from the immune system.
Radiation therapy with radiosensitizer: Tumour cells are very sensitive to radiation. The therapy involves a combination of radiosensitizers to destroy cancer cells.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the things I should know before the surgery for small intestine cancer?
- The type of surgery you would have depends on the size of the tumor, its location, and the stage of the tumor.
- The procedure focuses on removing the tumor either by Whipple procedure or resection.
- If your tumor can’t be removed completely, the doctor will perform bypass surgery.
- There are chances that you may receive a combination of therapies along with surgery.
- You should mentally prepare for the risks and complications of the surgery.
What are the factors that affect my prognosis of the small intestine?
The factors that affect the prognosis of small intestine cancer are:
Type of small intestine cancer
- Location of cancer like if it present on the inner linings of the small intestine or beyond its wall
- The places where cancer spreads in the body, such as the liver, lymph nodes, or lines of the wall of the abdomen.
- The cancer is completely removed through surgery or not.
- Cancer recurs.
What should I expect after surgery for small intestine cancer?
You should expect the following after small intestine cancer surgery:
- You may stay in the hospital for five to seven days after the procedure.
- You will likely have a nasogastric tube to remove the stomach contents and to get nutrients.
- You may have risks after the surgery, such as blood clots, diarrhea, constipation, breathing problems, difficulty in food absorption, and the reaction to anesthesia.
What question should I ask the doctor when I am diagnosed with small intestine cancer?
You should ask your doctor about:
- What type of small intestine cancer are you suffering from?
- Where is cancer located?
- What diagnostic tests are required?
- Which stage of cancer do you have?
- Do you need any other specialists?
- What are the costs and expenses of the treatment and diagnosis?
- What is the prognosis?