- Institute of Oncological Sciences
- Intestinal Cancer
What is Intestinal cancer ?
The presence of cancerous or malignant cells in the small or large intestines is termed as intestinal cancer. The intestines are the quintessential part of the body’s gastrointestinal system. Cancer that occurs and develops in the large intestine is called colorectal cancer. Small intestine cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells grow in the small intestine itself.
About intestine :
The small intestine is a long coiled tube that funnels or transports digested food from the stomach into the colon or the large intestine. Along the way, the digested material is broken down further and the nutrients and amino acids are absorbed by the body.
The material enters the duodenum, first of three major sections of the small intestine where digestion is aided by enzymes secreted by the pancreas and bile produced by the liver. The middle section then propels the food into the ileum, the final and longest section food travels through before being emptied into the colon.
Tumors’ present in the small intestine may block the flow of food and blockage may cause pain in the abdomen.
Type’s intestinal cancer :
There are four main types of small intestine cancer namely :
Adenocarcinomas : This most common type of small intestine cancer which usually develops in the cells that line the wall of the small intestine. Often this type of cancer will develop out of small benign growths called polyps.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours: they are variants of soft tissue sarcoma.
Carcinoid : Tumours form in the lining of the intestines and are often are slow in growing.
Lymphomas : they are an immune system disease that may originate within the intestines.
In general, however, intestinal symptoms are often quite vague and difficult to diagnose. The following are some common symptoms of small intestine cancer :
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness or fatigue due to anemia
- Bloody or tarry stools due to bleeding tumours
- A noticeable lump in the abdomen
Abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting may be the sign of an intestinal obstruction. In this case, one may require immediate medical care. Quite often surgery is necessary to remove the blockage.
Small intestine cancer symptoms may be signs of other conditions or gastrointestinal diseases.
Slowly growing types of cancer like carcinoid tumors may take many years to detect and diagnose.
Causes and risk factors :
The cause of small intestine cancer is yet to be determined.
Age : The national cancer institute has reported that the average age of diagnosis of intestinal cancer is 67.
Gender : men are slightly more likely to develop the disease than women as per studies conducted
Inherited condition : Most small intestine cancers occur without a known hereditary linkage; however, there are some inherited conditions that may pose a higher risk.
Gender syndrome : They are caused by a genetic defect. People with this syndrome often develop many polyps throughout the tract, particularly in the colon or the large intestine.
Tobacco and alcohol use : Tobacco use or alcohol abuse may up the risk of colon cancer.
Diet : Diet high in fat may lead to colon cancer
Chemical exposure : certain chemicals, like vinyl chloride, dioxins and high doses of herbicide containing phenoxy acetic acid, are considered to be intestinal cancer risk factors for certain types of sarcomas.
Other conditions :
Gastrointestinal diseases : Cohn’s disease may up the risk of colon cancer
Lymphedema: Damage to the lymph vessels or an infection may cause lymph fluid to build up. This may increase your risk of developing a sarcoma of the small intestine.
Tests and diagnosis:
The gastroenterologist checks for the following factors and may advise certain blood tests.
- Your medical history is thoroughly examined
- Physical examination of your stomach is done and doctor checks on your symptoms
Other tests may include :
- Blood tests: complete blood picture will be advised
- Imaging tests such as Barium X-rays can detect tumours
- Upper GI Series: The upper portion of the gastrointestinal is examined after barium water is
- Enteroclysis: It is a more detailed and accurate in detecting the colon and portions of the small bowel too
- Barium enema gives a scope to examine the
- Computed tomography
- Endoscopy which may comprise of upper endoscopy or capsule endoscopy or double balloon endoscopy.
Three types of standard treatment are used:
Surgery is the common form of treatment of small intestine cancer. One of the following types of surgery may be done:
Resection : Surgery to remove part all of an organ or portion that contains cancer. The resection may include the small intestine and nearby organs or adjoining tissues. The doctor may remove the section of the small intestine that contains cancer and performs an anatomises.
Bypass : Surgery is done to allow food in the small intestine to go around a tumour that is blocking the intestine but cannot be removed. Even if the doctor removes all cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cell that is left or not removed by surgery.
The cancer cells are killed using radioactive material.
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells in the colon or small intestine, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing or spreading further. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body.
An intestinal cancer diagnosis is life changing. At KIMS doctors help you and your loved ones to get more information before taking treatment decision. We encourage you to explore this area to learn more about the disease, what lies ahead and your treatment options and what suit the best.
You can listen to inspiring patient stories. Learn how our doctors create a personalized plan for your diagnosis and needs. And if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of cancer experts. We are here to help you make sense of it all and help you overcome cancer.
- Eating healthy diet
- Living a stress-free life
Why to choose KIMS :
KIMS hospital is the best hospital in Hyderabad. The best intestinal cancer treatment in Hyderabad is at KIMS. The best gastroenterologists and oncologists are available at KIMS hospital to give you the best treatment for intestinal cancer. The cancer care centre at KIMS is equipped with state of the art technologies such as cyber-knife, robotic technology and specialist doctors to treat very rare forms of cancer. Our patients have received the best treatment for intestinal cancer in Hyderabad. Our goal and aim are to make the cancer ridden patients cancer-free and lead a normal life. We are ardent in our fight against cancer. KIMS conducts awareness camps on cancer annually and supports cancer awareness initiatives in all respects.