About Intestinal Cancer
Intestinal cancer refers to cancer affecting the small intestine, the part of the digestive system that connects the stomach to the large intestine. Despite the name, intestinal cancer does not include cancers affecting the large intestine, which is instead categorized as colon or colorectal cancer.
Despite the small intestine making up a large portion of the digestive system, intestinal cancers are much rarer than other types of cancer affecting the gastrointestinal tract. In the United States, stomach, esophagus, and colon cancers tend to be more common than intestinal cancers.
There are four major types of intestinal cancer. Accounting for about every one in three small intestine cancer, adenocarcinomas start in the gland cells in the intestinal lining. Carcinoid tumors are a type of neuroendocrine tumor and the most common type of intestinal tumor. Sarcomas affect muscles and other connective tissues. Lymphomas start in lymphocytes, a type of immune cell. Most types of intestinal cancer develop in the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
Causes and Risk Factors
Intestinal cancer is caused by a genetic mutation that triggers certain cells within the small intestine to grow out of control. This results in tumors and growths that may spread to other parts of the body. The exact cause of these genetic mutations remains unknown.
Certain inherited syndromes, including Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and familial adenomatous polyposis, may increase your risk of intestinal cancer.
Celiac disease, a condition characterized by an overactive immune response following gluten ingestion, may contribute to the development of certain types of intestinal cancer. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease may also contribute to a higher risk of intestinal cancer, particularly adenocarcinoma. People who have had colon cancer before may also be at a higher risk of developing intestinal cancer.
In terms of lifestyle, diets high in red meat and salted foods may increase the risk of small intestine cancer. Smoking and drinking alcohol may also have a similar effect, but there are no conclusive results.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Symptoms of small intestine cancer can be vague and easily mistaken for other common conditions, which can make diagnosis difficult. The most common signs and symptoms of intestinal cancer include:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Sudden unintended weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent fatigue
- Yellowing in the skin and eyes
- Dark-colored stools (a sign of bleeding in the intestines)
Diagnosing intestinal cancer starts with a physical exam that allows the doctor to feel for any swelling or listen for sounds of intestinal blockage. If your doctor suspects intestinal cancer, they may proceed to a blood test or imaging tests to get a picture of what’s happening inside your body. The doctor may also perform an endoscopy, which involves using a long tube with a camera attached to its end to look at your duodenum, or take a tissue sample for examination.
If you are diagnosed with intestinal cancer, the doctor will proceed with staging. Stages are determined using the TNM system and on a scale of 0 through IV. Higher stages indicate greater metastasis of cancer cells.
About Alternative and Natural Treatments for Intestinal Cancer
Alternative and natural treatments offer an effective means of treating intestinal cancer without the side effects of traditional cancer treatments, like radiation therapy and chemotherapy. These traditional treatments often leave you physically weak and fatigued while harming your immune system. If you are someone who has intestinal cancer, or know someone who does, you may want to consider alternative therapy.
Immunity Therapy Center is a cancer center dedicated to treating cancer and fighting tumor cells through natural alternative treatments and customized treatment plans tailored to your personal needs. We want to help you, or your loved one, fight this disease without the harshness of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. We believe every patient should be treated like a person, not a chart, and work diligently to ensure our patients feel cared for and heard. Contact us to learn more and to receive your custom treatment plan.
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