The small intestine is a part of the body’s digestive system along with the oesophagus, stomach, and large intestine. It has the function of processing nutrients from foods and helping pass waste material out of the body. Cancer of the small intestine is a rare condition in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the small intestine.
There are five types of cancers found in the small intestine – adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, carcinoid tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumor and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of small intestine cancer which starts in glandular cells in the lining of the small intestine. The cancer tumours occur in the part of the small intestine near the stomach. It can cause blockage in the intestine. Leiomyosarcoma starts in the smooth muscle cells of the small intestine and tumours occur in the part of the small intestine near the large intestine.
The possible signs of small intestine cancer are abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. The symptoms of small intestine cancer can also be caused by other conditions. Other signs of the cancer form are pain or cramps in the middle of the abdomen, weight loss with no known reason, a lump in the abdomen and blood in the stool. A doctor should be consulted if you experience or notice any of these problems.
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