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Small Intestine Cancer Symptoms

Small intestinal cancer symptoms are vague and not unique to the disease. The vague symptoms often contribute to a late diagnosis or the patient passing the symptoms off as something not serious. Over time though, the symptoms will increase and become more intense.

Early Symptoms: The first symptom of small intestine cancer that usually occurs is abdominal pain. The abdominal pain tends to be followed by either nausea, bloating or loss of appetite

These symptoms are shared with many other gastrointestinal diseases. Although people do not usually run to the doctor as soon as they feel sick, anyone with early symptoms and a family history of gastrointestinal problems should not hesitate to go to a doctor regarding their symptoms.
Advanced Symptoms:
Fatigue- The person may remain tired throughout the day. Even sleep and caffeine may not help the patient get rid of their fatigue due to the fact it is a small intestine cancer symptom.
Weight Loss- This symptom can be a result of the person's loss of interest to eat. This can be voluntary or involuntary, meaning the patient may want to eat but simply cannot because of the pain that can be involved in eating while suffering from small intestine cancer.
Iron Deficiency Anemia- This symptom is due to a lack of red blood cells which help keep people feeling healthy or gives people the strength to recover from an illness. Bleeding in the small intestine can lead to anemia.
Obvious Blood Loss- Blood may be vomited or passed in the stool. Sometimes a material that looks like coffee grinds in the vomit is an indication of blood loss.
Severe Vomiting- This may be caused by a major blockage in the small intestine. The blockage is likely a cancerous tumor. This causes pain and nausea for the person whenever they eat because the food cannot pass through the small intestine.
Jaundice- This symptom causes the patient to have a yellowish skin color. It is caused by a blockage in the upper area of the small intestine. When the upper part of the small intestine is blocked, the bile ducts that drain the liver are effected and this causes the yellowish skin.
By the time the advanced symptoms occur, it is near impossible for someone to ignore them and not report to the doctor. The best way to prevent a serious complication due to small intestine cancer is to get the early symptoms checked out as soon as a possible. Suffering the advanced symptoms means the cancer is more advanced and is more difficult to manage.
Types of Small Intestine Cancer: The small intestine is located in between the stomach and the large intestine in the digestive tract. When cancer cells take over the small intestine, a person may be diagnosed with small intestine cancer. The four main types of small intestine cancer are lymphoma, carcinoid, gastroin stromal tumor, and adenocarcinoma
Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma cancer originates in the glandular tissue. Adenocarcinoma cancer can arise in any part of the body involved in secretions. Benign tumors in the glandular tissues are known as adenoma while those that are malignant and will continue to spread are known as adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma make up 30%-40% of all small intestine cancers. Most people believe that adenocarcinoma cancer develops from a small benign growth called a polyp in the small intestine. The cancer cells will likely line against the wall of the small intestine.
Adenocarcinoma symptoms can be vague making it difficult to diagnose a patient with the disease. Adenocarcinoma can lead to pain in the abdomen, weakness, weight loss and fatigue. A lot of the pain can be felt while eating, especially as the tumor gets larger. As the tumor grows it may cause a block in the intestine. This condition is known as obstruction. When the intestine is blocked, severe nausea and vomiting will occur along with pain. In rare but extreme cases, a hole can be torn in the intestine, resulting in the contents of the intestine being spilled out into the abdominal cavity.
If the tumor starts to slowly bleed into the intestines anemia could take place, causing a low red blood cell count which leads to feeling weak and ill.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor: Gastroin stromal tumors are one of the most common tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors are driven by mutations. Patients suffering from this form of small intestine cancer may experience pain while swallowing, gastroinintestinal bleeding and the spread of the disease to the liver. Intestinal blockage is rare because the tumor has an outward growth. In many cases by the time a diagnosis has been made the tumor is large and had been present for a long period of time.
Carcinoid: Carcinoids are tumors that come from enterchromaffin cells throughout the gut. Most carcinoids are found throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Carcinoids often do not lead to any symptoms. Most are benign but have the ability to become malignant. Most carcinoid tumors are discovered coincidentally during unrelated surgeries. Ten percent of the time carcinoids can secrete hormones causing the patient to be flushed, suffer diarrhea, wheezing, and abdominal cramping. 
Lymphoma: Lymphoma of the small intestine accounts for 30% of small intestine malignant cancer. A thick bowel wall and discrete tumor masses indicate a high grade tumor. The lymphoma tumors that rise are usually malignant, cause a spread of cancer to other areas besides the small intestine. Lymphoma tends to effect children more than the other small intestine cancers
Small Intestine Cancer Prevention: Small intestine cancer prevention involves an individual managing his or her risk factors. Eating healthy and being screened are the best ways to prevent the disease. Family history of small intestine cancer or related diseases such as colon cancer and Crohn's disease are warning sign that someone may already have signs or early stages of small intestine cancer. Early screenings and treatment are the best forms of cancer prevention.
Someone suffering from abdominal pain, weight loss or fatigue with the knowledge that people in their family have had intestinal problems in the past should immediately go for small intestine a cancer screening. The first sign is usually abdominal pain. Since abdominal pain is not a common symptom, many patients remain undiagnosed until the more advanced stages of small intestine cancer. If the abdomen pain gets worse while eating then the tumor may be growing and causing blockage in the digestive tract.
Small intestinal cancer prevention can depend on how someone manages their illness if they suffer from Crohn's disease or Celiac disease. Those with Celiac disease who do not refrain from eating gluten products will worsen their condition. When Celaic disease is not treated or worsened by the patient not following doctor's orders for treatment, much damage can be done to the small intestine. The damage done by Celiac disease can increase the risk of getting small intestine cancer.
Crohn's disease also damages the small intestine and unfortunately there is no treatment to get rid of the disease. There is medication to help manage the symptoms but that will not cure the disease. Since the small intestine will continue to suffer in someone with Crohn's disease, the chances of developing small intestine cancer increase. Treatment that reduces the symptoms of Crohn's disease can help prevent extra damage being done to the small intestine such as tearing, bleeding or blockage. Less damage to the small intestine will help prevent small intestine cancer in people with Crohn's disease.
Small intestine cancer is capable of developing in anyone despite a healthy history and performing cancer prevention tactics

Small Intestine Cancer Staging: It is important to determine what stage the small intestine cancer is in because the diagnosis and treatment depends on the current stage. The staging system depends on how much the cancer cells have spread in relation to the walls of the intestine. It is not until after surgery that a stage can truly be determined. The American Joint Committee on Cancer uses a staging system for small intestine cancer based on roman numerals and the three factors TNM (tumor, lmyph nodes, and metastasis). The T, N, and M are ranked based on severity with numbers. T rankings Tx- No description of tumor because of incomplete testing or information. Tis- The cancer is not deep. It is only on the top layer of the mucosa. T1a- The cancer has grown from the top layer of cells of the mucosa and into the layer of connective tissue below. T1b -The cancer has grown through the mucosa and into the submucosa. T2- The cancer has grown through the mucosa and submucosa into the muscularis propria. T3- The cancer remains in the intestinal wall. It has not spread to other organs or tissues. T4- The cancer has grown through the wall of the intestines and will be invading other organs. N rankings N0- The lymph nodes near the tumor do not contain cancer. N1- Cancer cells have been found in 1-3 lymph nodes near the tumor. N2- Cancer cells have been found in 4 or more lymph nodes near the tumor. M rankings M0- No cancer has been found or will not spread into other organs. M1- Cancer has spread to other organs. The stages are used in conjunction with the rankings of the TNM system. Stage 0- Tis, M0, N0 The cancer is in an early stage. It remains on the top layer of the mucosa of the small intestine and has not began to grow deeper. Stage I- T1 or T2, N0, M0 The cancer has grown into deeper layers of the intestine. It has not spread to any lymph nodes, other organs, or distant sites. Stage IIA- T3 or T4, N0, M0 The cancer has not spread to nearby lymph nodes, organs or distant sites but it has grown through most of the walls of the small intestine. Stage IIB- T4, N0, M0 The cancer has grown through the walls of the intestine and into nearby tissues and organs. It has not spread to lymph nodes or distant sites. Stage IIIA- Any T, N1, M0 The cancer has reached other lymph nodes but no distant sites. Stage IIIB- Any T, N2, M0 The cancer has spread to 4 or more lymph nodes but no distant sites. Stage IV- Any T, Any N, M1 Cancer has spread to any or all of the including, the lungs, liver, ovary, or peritoneum. Five year survival rate by stage

| Stage I- 55% | Stage IIA- 49% | StageIIB- 35% | Stage IIIA- 31% | Stage IIIB- 18% | StageIV- 5% |

The overall prognosis for small intestine cancer is poor. Adenocarcinoma leaves patients with the worst prognosis while carcinoid tumors, gastroin stromal tumors and lymphoma tumors offer some more hope. Carcinoid tumors are considered the least dangerous. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors and lymphoma tumors would fall in between adenocarcinoma and carcinoid tumors in term of severity. A small intestine prognosis does not only predict how long a patient has to live but also predicts possible complications, chances of full recovery and chances of developing the cancer second time or a related disease
Adenocarcinoma: Patients suffering from adenocarcinoma tumors in the small intestine have a 30%-35% chance of living five years beyond diagnosis. The median length of survival is about 36-42 months beyond the diagnosis. In most cases, the tumor continues to grow in the small intestine and causes blockage, or obstruction. This causes more pain and complication in the small intestine which may result in bleeding and vomiting. Survival chances increase slightly if the small intestine cancer has not spread into nearby lymph nodes.
Carcinoid tumors are usually found before any major damage is causes. Most carcinoid tumors are benign. However, a small percentage of them have the ability to become malignant, resulting in the necessary removal of the carcinoid. Most carcinoids are found randomly while other surgeries or medical tests are being performed on a patient.
Lymphoma: Lymphoma tumors account for 30% of all small intestine cancer. They can either be low grade or high grade solid tumors, they are both malignant. When lymphoma tumors are low grade they can be treated almost completely with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The patient will still have the cancer cells but may live almost a normal life span. High grade tumors have less chance of being treated with chemotherapy. If the patient responds poorly to chemotherapy for a high grade tumor, the cancer prognosis grows much worse.
Gastrointestinal Stromal: General survival rates for gastrointestinal stromal tumors are 69% to live one-year past diagnosis, 38%-44% to live three-years past diagnosis and 29%-35% to live past five-years after diagnosis. These numbers are assuming that the small intestine cancer treatment began in the cancer's earliest stage.
The chances of the cancer recurring are much higher than the chances of getting small intestine cancer once. If the cancer recurs, the survival rates do not dramatically change, as long as the tumors is found in it's earliest stage. Those who have been treated for cancer should have screening regularly to avoid stage increases during a recurrence and maintain the best possible cancer prognosis
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