Intestine cancer is a rare disease where cells in the tissue of the small intestine change. They grow out of control and can form a mass or tumor.The small intestine (also called “small bowel”) connects your stomach to your large intestine. Its main job is to break down and absorb food, fats, vitamins, and other substances your body needs. If you have this type of cancer, tumor cells may block the small intestine.
What are the types of Intestine cancer?
There are five types of intestine cancer:
Adenocarcinomas. These make up an estimated 30% to 40% of cases. Adenocarcinoma starts in the lining of the small intestine.
Sarcoma. Cancerous cells develop in the soft tissue of the small intestine.
Carcinoid tumors. These slow-growing cancers often take root in the lower section of the small intestine. They might also affect your appendix or rectum. These tumors give off large amounts of certain body chemicals, like serotonin.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). This is a rare form of small intestine cancer. More than half of them start in the stomach. Not all GISTs are cancerous.
Intestinal lymphomas. Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the lymph nodes. People who develop them often have a type of immunodeficiency disorder.
What are the symptoms of Intestine Cancer?
See your doctor if you notice any of the following signs, which could be caused by small intestine cancer or something else:
Pain or cramps in the middle of your stomach
Losing weight for no known reason
A lump in your abdomen
Blood in your stool
What Are the Causes of Intestine Cancer?
Doctors aren’t sure why people develop it. But they do know that several things can increase your chances of getting the disease:
How old you are (average age at diagnosis is 60)
Your sex (slightly higher risk in men)
Genetics (some disorders you’re born with raising the odds)
Smoking and alcohol use
Living or working near large quantities of some chemicals, like phenoxy acetic acid
Other conditions that affect your gut, like Crohn’s, colon cancer, or celiac disease
Lymphedema (damage to the vessels that connect to the lymph nodes)
What Treatments Are Available for Intestine Cancer?
Which treatment your doctor recommends will depend on several 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 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.Several 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.