Small Intestine Cancer: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The small intestine is an important part of the digestive system, located between the stomach and the colon. It is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food and passing them through to the rest of the body. It is also one of the least common kinds of gastrointestinal cancer i.e. small intestine cancer. Carcinoid tumors, adenocarcinomas, sarcomas, and lymphomas are among the several forms. Numerous procedures and tests are frequently needed for diagnosis. 

The type of cancer, its stage, and where the tumor first appeared in your small intestine all affect your prognosis. Cancer of the small intestine is a rare type of cancer that affects the digestive system. It is not as well known as other forms of cancer but is still an important issue to be aware of. In this blog let’s learn more about cancer of the small intestine. 

What is Small Intestine Cancer?

An uncommon condition known as small intestinal cancer causes the cells in the small intestine’s tissue to alter. They can get unmanageably large and develop into a lump or tumor.

Your stomach and large intestine are linked by the small intestine, which is often referred to as the “small bowel.” Its primary function is to digest and absorb food, lipids, vitamins, and other nutrients that your body needs. The small intestine may get blocked by tumor cells if you have this form of cancer.

Types of Small Intestine Cancer

Small intestine cancer comes in five different forms:

  • Adenocarcinomas: An estimated 30% to 40% of cases are these. The small intestine’s lining is where adenocarcinomas begin. It may first appear to be a little, noncancerous growth called a polyp, but over time it has the potential to develop into cancer.
  • Sarcoma: In the soft tissue of the small intestine, cancerous cells grow.
  • Cancerous tumors: The bottom portion of the small intestine is where these slow-growing tumors frequently develop. They could also have an impact on your rectum or appendix. Large levels of specific bodily substances, such as serotonin, are released by these tumors.
  • GISTs, or gastrointestinal stromal tumors: This specific kind of small intestinal cancer is uncommon. The stomach is where more than half of them begin. GISTs are not always malignant.
  • Intestinal lymphomas: A cancer that begins in the lymph nodes is called lymphoma. They frequently result from an immunodeficiency condition in those who develop them. This implies that your body’s natural defense mechanism is compromised and may not adequately fight off illness and infection.

Symptoms of Small Intestine Tumors

Small intestine cancer can cause discomfort and pain in the abdomen in its early stages. This can be the result of your digestive system not being able to process meals properly. If you are told you have small intestinal cancer, you can also suffer the following symptoms:

  • bloating
  • appetite loss
  • nausea
  • abdominal cramps

More severe signs of small intestinal cancer might exist if the disease has advanced and include:

  • vomiting
  • vitamin deficiency
  • anemia
  • diarrhea
  • bloody or black stools
  • lump in the abdomen
  • jaundice
  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • Weakness

Seek emergency medical assistance if you develop any of these symptoms or if they get worse over time. This type of cancer’s symptoms may also be a sign of other gastrointestinal conditions. The best possible care for your ailment can be ensured with early detection.

Causes of Small Intestine Tumors

Cancer of the small intestine is caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the small intestine. Your small intestine develops malignant tumors when cancer cells clump together and proliferate quickly. Cancer cells may eventually separate from the primary (original) tumor and move via your lymph nodes or blood to other regions of your body where they may develop into a secondary tumor. We refer to this process as metastasis.

Genetic mutations, or adjustments to a cell’s DNA, give rise to cancerous cells by causing the cell to proliferate uncontrollably. What causes these modifications is unknown to researchers. Furthermore, Cancer treatment in India is also becoming more and more precise and successful as compared with other nations around the globe

Diagnosis For Small Intestine Cancer

A detailed analysis of your medical history and symptoms is necessary for the accurate diagnosis of small bowel cancer. This can help identify your hereditary risk of developing small intestinal cancer. Your cancer doctor will correctly identify your issue using a number of tests and procedures before making a therapy recommendation. The results of these procedures will also reveal if your cancer has spread to other parts of your body.

The following common tests are used to find small intestinal cancer:

  • blood tests
  • X-ray imaging
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • biopsy
  • endoscopy
  • colonoscopy
  • barium swallow
  • liver function tests
  • laparotomy

Treatment For Small Intestine Cancer

Treatment for cancer of the small intestine can vary depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Surgery is often the first form of treatment, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Also, read about cancer treatment cost in India.


The most popular form of treatment for small intestinal cancer is surgery. Surgery might involve:

  • Resection: Surgery to completely or partially remove a cancerous organ. If the cancer has spread, your doctor might need to remove parts of your small intestine and other adjacent organs. An anastomosis (connecting the severed ends of the intestine together) may then be done. To check for symptoms of cancer spread, your doctor may remove lymph nodes close to your small intestine.
  • A tumor that is blocking your gut but cannot be removed can be relocated so that food in your small intestine can go around it (bypass).


Chemotherapy employs medications to either kill cancer cells or prevent them from proliferating in order to stop the development of cancer cells. Regional chemotherapy (targeting cancer cells in a particular region of your body) and systemic chemotherapy (destroying cancer cells throughout your body) are two different types of chemotherapy treatments.

Radiation treatment

High-energy radiation, such as X-rays or other forms, is used in radiation treatment to either kill or stop the growth of cancer cells. If your cancer cannot be surgically removed, your doctor may advise radiation. To aid in symptom alleviation, radiation treatment may also be used as part of palliative care. After surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy (chemoradiation therapy) may be used to eradicate any cancer cells that remained.

Targeted therapy

Targeted treatments locate cancer cells’ points of vulnerability and utilize these points of weakness to kill the cancer cells. Adenocarcinomas, GIST, and lymphomas are being treated with targeted therapy, according to research.


Your immune system is strengthened by immunotherapy, making it more effective against cancerous cells. Your immune system defends your body against pathological cells and harmful invaders like germs. Unfortunately, sometimes cancer cells can slip through the checks and balances of your immune system. Immunotherapy makes it simpler for your immune system to detect cancer cells and eliminate them.

Depending on the sort of gene alterations in your tumor, your healthcare professional may propose immunotherapy.

Somatostatin analogs

Somatostatin analogs may be suggested by your doctor to treat small intestinal carcinoid tumors. These drugs prevent your body from producing excessive amounts of hormones. They can then reduce symptoms and aid in illness management. The somatostatin analogs lanreotide and octreotide are two examples.

Clinical studies

Studies known as clinical trials are conducted to see if novel cancer treatments are equally effective and safe as current therapies, or even more so. Clinical studies are now being conducted to investigate various therapies, including adjuvant chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and others. If you think you could be a good candidate for a clinical study, ask your doctor.

It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer of the small intestine, as early detection is key for successful treatments. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away. 

Cancer of the small intestine is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if not treated early. If you have any concerns or questions, it is important to seek a doctor. If you’re looking for budget-friendly costs you also opt for Small intestine cancer treatment cost in India as India not only provides the best cancer treatment but as has a much friendly cost. With early detection and proper treatment, it is possible to live a long and healthy life even with this form of cancer.
Due to India’s increasing success rates in treating cancer, medical tourism there is growing in popularity nowadays. If you’re applying for small intestine cancer treatment in India, you can find lots of cancer treatment hospitals in India as well as renowned cancer surgeons in India.