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Small Bowel Cancer

Small bowel cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the small intestine. Your small intestine, also known as the small bowel, is a long tube that transports digested food between your stomach and large intestine (colon).

The small intestine is in charge of digesting and absorbing nutrients from food. It secretes hormones that aid digestion. Because it contains cells that fight bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth, the small intestine also plays a role in your body's germ-fighting immune system.

Small bowel cancers are classified as follows:
  • Adenocarcinoma.
  • Carcinoid tumours and paraganglioma are examples of neuroendocrine tumours.
  • Lymphoma Sarcoma (gastrointestinal stromal tumour) (GIST)
  • The best treatment options for you are determined by the type of small bowel cancer you have and its stage.

Symptoms

Small bowel cancer signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Skin yellowing and yellowing of the eyes' whites (jaundice).
  • Feeling unusually tired or weak.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Losing weight without making an effort.
  • Blood in the stool, which may be red or black in colour.
  • Diarrhea with water.
  • Flushing of the skin.

Causes

Most small bowel cancers are caused by unknown factors, according to doctors.

Small bowel cancer develops when healthy cells in the bowel develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. A cell's DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what to do.

To keep your body running smoothly, healthy cells divide and grow in an orderly fashion.. When a cell's DNA is damaged and it becomes cancerous, it continues to divide — even when new cells aren't required. As these cells multiply, they combine to form a tumour.

Cancer cells can spread over time and invade and destroy normal tissue nearby. Cancerous cells can also spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).

Risk elements

The following factors may increase the risk of small bowel cancer:

  • Mutations in genes are passed down through families. Certain inherited gene mutations can increase your chances of developing small bowel cancer and other cancers . Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome are a few examples.
  • Other bowel disorders Other intestine-related diseases and conditions, such as Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and celiac disease, may increase the risk of small bowel cancer.
  • Immune system is weakened. If your body's germ-fighting immune system is compromised, you may be at a higher risk of developing small bowel cancer. People with HIV infection and those taking anti-rejection medication after an organ transplant are two examples.
  • Complications.
  • Small bowel cancer can result in complications such as:
  • An increased risk of developing other cancers. People who have small bowel cancer are more likely to develop other types of cancer, such as those that affect the colon, rectum, ovaries, and uterine lining (endometrium).
  • Cancerous tumours that spread to other parts of the body Advanced small bowel cancer has the potential to spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the liver.

Prevention

  • Because small bowel cancer is so rare, it's unclear what might help reduce the risk. If you want to lower your overall risk of cancer, you should do the following:
  • Consume a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you are getting a wide range of vitamins and nutrients.
  • Drink alcohol sparingly, if at all.
  • Quit smoking. Consult your doctor about quitting methods that may be suitable for you.
  • Most days of the week, exercise. On most days, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise. If you've been inactive, begin slowly and gradually increase to 30 minutes. Also, before beginning any exercise programme, consult with your doctor.
  • Keep a healthy weight. If you are already at a healthy weight, work to keep it there by combining a healthy diet with daily exercise. If you need to lose weight, talk to your doctor about healthy ways to do so. Aim to lose weight gradually by increasing your physical activity and decreasing your calorie intake.