Small Intestine Cancer Surgery

Small intestine cancer is malignant tumor in bowels of the longest part of digestive tract where the most of food is absorbed. There are three sections in the small intestine, they are duodenum (uppermost adjacent to stomach), jejunum and ileum. The most cancers develop in the duodenum, followed then with the jejunum and ileum.

Symptoms of Small Intestine Cancer

In early stage small intestine cancer reveal no symptoms and you may live for years without any distinct sign having malignant disease. Later a number of symptoms may appear as:

  • Blood in stool
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

Of course, any of above symptoms may be related to many disorders of digestive tract, so it is important to see the doctor for examination.

On the latest stages of intestine cancer you may experience some other problems:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Lump in abdomen

But again most of those symptoms quite unspecific and you need thorough diagnostics to determine the root of the problems.

In advanced stage when tumor is large enough, obstruction of the bowel can happen. In this case intestine is completely blocked, nothing can come out and this condition is accompanied with severe vomiting.

Diagnostics of Small Intestine Cancer

Most of the methods of diagnostics of small intestinal cancer are the same as for all the others types of cancer:

  • Blood tests. Blood test may indicate if you have anemia that can be a sign of cancerous disease, also you may need biochemical blood test.

  • X-Rays. X-Rays test helps to reveal if any tumors are present. If you are suspected for cancer of digestive tract a doctor may decide to examine all the parts of digestive system including esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon as well as liver and gall bladder. The reason is that cancer can develop in several sites at the same time.

  • Biopsy. Though X-Rays can show a presence of the tumor in certain location it is not able to define whether it is malignant or benign. To find it out the cytology test is needed. Biopsy is a procedure performed to take the samples for analyses. Depending on tumor location sampling can done during endoscopy, colonoscopy or by needle.

  • Endoscopy. Endoscopy is minimally invasive procedure for examination and treatment of the digestive tract by an endoscope, a small camera with light introduced through the mouth of the patient. It is performed under anesthesia. During the procedure the samples of tissues from revealed lesions can be taken.

  • Colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a procedure similar to endoscopy but optical device called colonoscope is inserted via anus. It is used for examination of rectal cancer, colon cancer and small intestine cancer in lower section, the ileum.

  • CT Scan and PET. Computed tomography and positron emission tomography are also used for cancer detection in small intestine.

Types of Small Intestine Cancer

The main types of cancer of small intestine are:

  • Carcinoids
  • Lymphomas
  • Sarcomas
  • Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinoma is more often occurs in women than in men. Often small intestine cancer starts from small neoplasm that even can be benign but then to transform to cancerous lesion. That is the reason to remove all the tumors found in the intestine to prevent possible development.

Small Intestine Cancer Surgery

Small intestine cancer is relatively rare but, if it happens surgery is the most common treatment. If cancer detected in earlier stage, there are good chances to eliminate malignant disease completely. For this purpose cancerous tumor is removed together with a portion of intestine.

Depending on location of the tumor and individual situation different approaches may be used. It is possible to perform operation for small intestinal cancer by traditional method, endoscopy or laparoscopy. Sometimes the other organs are involved. For example, sometimes Whipple procedure can be decided that involve removing the duodenum, a lower part of stomach, a portion of pancreas, the end of bile duct and related lymph nodes.

In advanced stage 4, surgery is often used as palliative procedure to relieve pain and remove blockage. In other case, the tumor can stay in place but surgeon may create bypass around blockage.

Surgery in Cancer Center of Braunschweig

Cancer Center of Braunschweig is interdisciplinary institution working in cooperation with other clinics in departments. Treatment of intestinal cancer may involve not only oncologysts and oncosurgeons but also specialists from Radiology Department, Clinic of General and Visceral Surgery with great experience in abdominal and stomach surgery. We try to find the best solutions helping you to cope with cancer. We also offer physiological support for cancer patient and attentive care of experienced nurses.

Earlier you turn to a doctor more chances you have to cure your disease. 5-years survival rate for small intestine cancer is 55% on stage 1 but 5% only on stage 4. Take your chance for longer life, apply for examination now.

Cancer Center
Chief Physician

Small Intestine Cancer Surgery

Professor MD Wolfgang Hoffmann

Chief Physician

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