What is Small Intestinal Cancer Treatment?

Dr Foram Bhuta

Dr Foram Bhuta

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 10 years of experience

October 18, 2021 Cancer Hub 339 Views

English हिन्दी Bengali

What is the meaning of Small Intestinal Cancer Treatment?

Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are all forms of small intestine cancer treatments.

Small intestine cancer is a rare type of disease that causes the formation of malignant (cancer) cells in the tissues of the small intestine.

The small intestine or small bowel is a part of the digestive system of the body that also includes the esophagus (food pipe), stomach, and large intestine. The function of the small intestine is to break down the food and help the body in absorption of the important vitamins and fats from the food.

In this article, we will be discussing in detail about small intestinal cancer and small intestinal cancer treatment.

  • What are the types of Small Intestinal Cancers?
  • What are the causes of Small Intestinal Cancer?
  • What are the risk factors of Small Intestinal Cancer?
  • What are the symptoms of Small Intestinal Cancer?
  • How to diagnose Small Intestinal Cancer?
  • What are the various Small Intestinal Cancer Treatments?
  • What are the complications of Small Intestinal Cancer Treatments?
  • How to prevent Small Intestinal Cancer?
  • What is the cost of Small Intestinal Cancer in India?

What are the types of Small Intestinal Cancers?

The different types of small intestinal cancers include:

Adenocarcinoma:

  • This type of cancer begins in the secretory cells. 
  • Secretory cells are present in the tissues that line the body’s major organs and help in releasing the mucus and the digestive juices.

Sarcoma:

  • This type of cancer begins in the soft tissues or the bones.
  • The soft tissues may include muscles, cartilage, fibrous, and connective tissues.

Lymphoma:

  • This type of cancer begins in the immune system (disease-fighting system) of the body.
  • It can further be classified as Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system characterized by the presence of an abnormal cell known as Reed-Sternberg cell) or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system without the presence of Reed-Sternberg cell) ( Know more about- What is Lymphoma? Types, Causes,Symptoms, Treatments,Cost)

Carcinoid tumors:

  • These are slow-growing tumors.
  • These tumors may spread to the liver or the other parts of the body.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors:

What are the causes of Small Intestinal Cancer?

  • The exact cause of small intestinal cancer is unknown.
  • Small intestine cancer generally develops when the healthy cells in the small intestine develop mutations (changes) in their DNA.
  • When the DNA of a cell is damaged and becomes cancerous, the cells continue to divide even if new cells are not required.
  • These rapidly growing cells accumulate to form a tumor.
  • The tumor starts destroying the normal tissues nearby, and the cancer cells can metastasize (spread) to the other parts of the body 

What are the risk factors of Small Intestinal Cancer?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing small intestine cancer. These factors include:

  • Family history of cancer
  • Weekend immune system of the body like:
  • In the cases of HIV infection
  • Those taking anti-rejection medications following an organ transplant

Bowel diseases like:

  • Crohn’s disease (a disease that affects the digestive tract lining) ( Know more about- What is Crohn’s Disease? Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention )
  • Celiac disease (immune reaction to eating gluten, which causes inflammation of the lining of the small intestine)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (group of intestinal disorders causing prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract)

What are the symptoms of Small Intestinal Cancer?

The various symptoms of small intestinal cancer are:

How to diagnose Small Intestinal Cancer?

  • Physical examination: The doctor will first physically examine the patient, and ask for the symptoms of the patient. The doctor will also note the medical history and family history of the patient.
  • Blood tests: It is helpful in the measurement of certain substances released in the blood by the tissues and organs in the body. An unusual amount of substance may indicate the presence of a disease.
  • Liver function tests: A blood sample is checked for the measurement of the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by the liver. A higher-than-normal value may indicate a liver disease that may have occurred due to small intestinal cancer. ( Know more about- What are Liver Function Tests? Purpose, Procedure, Results )
  • X-ray of the abdomen (stomach): It helps in checking the organs in the abdomen.
  • Barium enema/ lower GI series: A liquid containing barium (a metallic compound) is put into the rectum (lower part of the large intestine) of the patient. This barium coats the lower gastrointestinal tract, and x-rays are then taken.
  • Upper endoscopy: An endoscope (a thin lighted tube) is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It helps to view the gastrointestinal tract organs, and may also have a tool for the removal of tissue samples to check for the presence of cancer cells.
  • Fecal occult blood test: It is a test for checking the presence of blood in the stools.
  • Upper GI series with small bowel follow-through: The patient is made to drink a liquid containing barium. This liquid coats the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. A series of x-rays are taken at different times as the barium travels through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • Biopsy: A small part of the tissue growth is excised by the surgeon and sent to the laboratory to check for the presence of cancer cells.
  • CT scan and MRI scan: These are imaging tests done to create images of the internal organs of the body.
  • Lymph node biopsy: This involves the partial or complete removal of a lymph node to check for the presence of cancer cells.
  • Laparotomy: It is a surgical procedure done by making an incision (cut) in the abdominal wall to check inside the abdomen for any signs of the disease. 

What are the various Small Intestinal Cancer Treatments?

    • The treatment for small intestinal cancer depends on the stage of cancer, the type of cancer present, and the overall health of the patient. Treatment options may include:
  • Surgery:
    • Surgery may be done to remove the small intestine cancer entirely if possible.
    • If cancer is affecting only a part of the small intestine, the surgeon may remove only that part and rejoin the cut ends of the intestine.
    • If a small intestine cancer cannot be removed, the surgeon may do a bypass for relieving the blockage in the small intestine.

Chemotherapy:

    • In this procedure, the doctor prescribes a certain combination of medications to kill the cancer cells.
    • These drugs are either taken orally or may be given through a vein (intravenously) in the arm.
    • Chemotherapy may be recommended after surgery if there are cancer cells remaining after surgery.
    • In advanced cases of cancer, chemotherapy helps in relieving the symptoms associated with cancer.

Radiation therapy:

    • In this form of treatment, high-energy radiations like x-rays are used to kill the cancer cells or stop them from growing further.

Targeted drug therapy:

    • This type of treatment focuses on specific weaknesses present in the cancer cells.
    • This causes the death of cancer cells.
    • This form of treatment can be used in cases of gastrointestinal stromal tumors and lymphoma.

Immunotherapy:

  • This is a form of drug treatment that helps the body’s immune system to fight cancer.
  • This procedure may be done in cases of advanced small intestinal cancer.

What are the complications of Small Intestinal Cancer Treatments?

The following side effects are caused by the small intestine cancer treatments:

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of hair
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation ( Know more about- What is Piles Surgery? Causes, Tests, Procedure, Aftercare, Cost )
  • Stomach upset
  • Loose bowel movements
  • Pain at the surgical site
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Skin reactions
  • Fluctuation in weight

If you have any of the above complications post small intestinal cancer treatment, contact your doctor.

How to prevent Small Intestinal Cancer?

The following tips can be followed to prevent the risk of developing small intestinal cancer:

  • Quit smoking
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol
  • Eat a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight

What is the cost of Small Intestinal Cancer in India?

The total cost of small intestinal cancer treatment in India can range from around INR 2,00,000 to INR 4,00,000. However, the cost of the procedure may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for small intestinal cancer treatment. The cost varies across different hospitals. 

If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of small intestinal cancer treatment, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the procedure, the patient is kept in hospital for 5 days and in the hotel for 15 days for recovery. So, the total cost of small intestinal cancer treatment in India will be around INR 3,00,000 to INR 5,00,000. 

We hope that we were able to answer all your questions regarding small intestinal cancer and small intestinal cancer treatment through this article.

If you want more information and treatment for small intestinal cancer, you can contact the Oncologist.

We only aim to give you information through the article and do not recommend medication or treatment in any way. Only a doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan.

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