Small bowel lymphoma (lymphatic cancer)

Abdomen | Oncology | Small bowel lymphoma (lymphatic cancer) (Disease)


The most common form of the histologic cancer of the digestive tract and the small intestine is aggressive (quickly invades the nearby structures). Symptoms usually occur if the tumor is large and invaded lymph vessels or lymph nodes.

Although the small bowel diameter is much smaller than the colon, occlusive phenomena occur late, because of the large swelling capacity and liquid contents of the small intestine. Most often, patients come to the physician with occlusive phenomena, colicky abdominal pain, followed by intense noise that provokes pain. These symptoms occur after meals, when digested food reaches the narrowed area of the bowel, narrowing (stenosis) caused by intense muscle growth tumor.

The increase in the tumor is eroding blood vessels in the intestinal wall, intestinal ulceration, upper or lower gastrointestinal bleeding occurs. Most bleeding is not visible, but seen in the patient developing iron deficiency/anemia.

If the patient goes to the doctor with ascites fluid (peritoneal metastases) and enlarged liver (liver metastases), tumor has invaded the whole abdomen (stage IV cancers in oncology classification), treatment is ineffective and very low life expectancy.

Causes and Risk factors

Unfortunately the cause of most small bowel cancers is unknown. There are, however, some possible risk factors that might increase a person’s chance of developing small bowel cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The treatment consists of the removal (resection) of the affected bowel segment and invaded lymph nodes. If the tumor is invasive to neighboring structures and cannot be removed, digestive derivations can be made (bypass the affected bowel) to avoid occlusion. Unfortunately, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have not proven to be effective in this cancer. ...