Intestinal tumours


Intestinal tumours are not so common tumours of the abdomen though they are observed more frequently in clinical practice. Small intestine contains mainly three parts duodenum, jejunum and ileum. There are variations in morphology of the tumours. They can arise from lining of the intestine , cells of the intestinal layer as well as the muscular layer of the intestinal wall. 

Common types and causes  intestinal tumours 

  1. Carcinoid tumours 
  2. Gastrointestinal stomal tumours (GIST) 
  3. Sarcomas of intestine 
  4. Lipomatous tumours of intestine 

The common cause for intestinal tumours are high fat diet , smoking , alcohol and hereditary related cancers of small bowel.

Common symptoms of intestinal tumours 

  1. Cramps in abdomen
  2. Abdominal lump or swelling
  3. Loose stools with blood in stools 
  4. Decreased appetite 
  5. Nausea and vomiting 
  6. Symptoms related to intestinal obstruction 
  7. Weight loss 

Diagnosis and investigations 

These symptoms are often commonly present and related to indigestion by the patients. In case of these symptoms you should not ignore and consult your clinician/ surgeon immediately for further check up. 

Clinicians usually recommend blood tests and contrast enhanced computerised tomography (CECT) of the abdomen to diagnose the disease. This scan will also determine the site, location and spread of the tumour. In case of duodenal tumours and upper jejunal intestinal tumours upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or Enteroscopy  is performed for confirmation of diagnosis and take biopsy of the disease. Once the diagnosis is confirmed cancer specialists and surgeons take the combined decision in best interest of the patients. 

Treatment for intestinal tumours 

Surgery remains the mainstay of the management. The extent of surgery and type of surgery usually depend upon the location the tumours. Small intestinal tumours present in jejunum and ileum are dealt with small bowel intestinal resection. 

Duodenal tumours in very early stages and small sized less then 2 cm  can be treated with endoscopic resection of the tumours. Advanced lesion of the duodenal tumours will require more extensive surgery depending upon the location of the tumour. 

These surgeries can be performed by laparoscopic surgery and conventional open surgery . Chemotherapy is usually given after surgery depending upon the type of intestinal cancer and stage of the disease.Usually patients with tumours in small bowel recover very early after surgery.

To consult with best team of general and minimal access surgeons available at  The Surgeons House (SHL) in different global locations, please click this link for more details. 

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