Learn all about duodenal cancer and its symptoms also learn about the survival rate and treatment options of cancer in duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine. It is located between the stomach and the jejunum. Located inferior to the stomach, the duodenum is a 10-12 inch (25-30 cm) long C-shaped, hollow tube.
Duodenal cancer is a cancer in the beginning section of the small intestine. It is relatively rare compared to gastric cancer and colorectal cancer and is considered the rarest among the cancers in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, accounting for only 1% of the cases of GI malignancies. Its histology is usually adenocarcinoma. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Gardner Syndrome, Lynch Syndrome, Muir-Torre syndrome, Celiac sprue, Puetz-Jeghers, Crohn’s Disease and Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome are risk factors for developing this cancer.
The types of cancer found in the small intestine are adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, carcinoid tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma starts in glandular cells in the lining of the small intestine and is the most common type of small intestine cancer. Most of these tumors occur in the part of the small intestine near the stomach. They may grow and block the intestine.
The prognosis of duodenal cancer depends on the progress of the malignancy. It is unfortunate, but duodenal cancer has a poorer prognosis than jejunum cancer or ileal cancer because tumors in the duodenum are usually much more difficult to remove. Alternative medications that can be used to manage duodenal cancer include things such as garlic, ginseng, Echinacea and ginger. Studies in animals have proven that these herbal remedies reduce the size of tumors, but further tests must be made among humans before these findings are considered conclusive.
Different types of treatments are available for patients with small intestine cancer. Some treatments are standard (the currently used treatment), and some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a research study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments for patients with cancer. When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment.
Duodenal Cancer Symptoms
Duodenal cancer is symptomized by following conditions:
- Cramping pain on the abdomen
- Acid reflux
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mass in the abdomen
- Involuntary weight loss
- Blood in the stool because of chronic gastrointestinal bleeding
Almost all cases of duodenal cancer are diagnosed at a late stage because these symptoms usually appear only after the disease has been present for some time.
Duodenal Cancer Survival Rate
The survival rate for Duodenal Cancer decreases as the stage of the disease advances. Localized malignancies have almost 50% survival rate, regional malignancies have 30% survival rate, and distant metastases have 5% survival rate. It is indeed essential to detect cancer early and employ various types of management immediately in order to increase the survival rate. Older patients (above 75 years old) also have a poorer prognosis and lower survival rate than the younger population.
Duodenal Cancer Treatment
Duodenal cancer treatment depends on the stage of cancer. There are different types of treatment for patients with duodenal cancer. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Other types of treatments are also introduced in clinical trials which include Biologic therapy and Radiation therapy with radio sensitizers. Surgery is the most common treatment of small intestine cancer. One of the following types of surgery may be done:
- Resection: Surgery to remove part or all of an organ that contains cancer. The resection may include the small intestine and nearby organs (if the cancer has spread). The doctor may remove the section of the small intestine that contains cancer and perform an anastomosis (joining the cut ends of the intestine together). The doctor will usually remove lymph nodes near the small intestine and examine them under a microscope to see whether they contain cancer.
- Bypass: Surgery to allow food in the small intestine to go around (bypass) a tumor that is blocking the intestine but cannot be removed.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. There are two types of radiation therapy. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward the cancer. Internal radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into or near the cancer. The way the radiation therapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. While in chemotherapy drugs are used to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.