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Small Bowel Cancer

Treatment

The treatment of small bowel cancer includes:

  • Surgery: Surgery is aimed at removing all the cancerous tissues of the small intestine and the surrounding areas. If the cancer is present in a small part of the small intestine, the surgeon may remove that particular part and then rejoin the remaining small intestine. However, in case cancer has spread to a significant part of the intestine, the complete small intestine may be removed. Surgery is also performed when the cancerous tissues are not completely removed, and there is a need to form a new route to bypass the blocked intestine.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs are either delivered through the mouth or injected into the vein. The drugs reach the cancerous cells through the bloodstream. Chemotherapy drugs are usually used when cancer metastasizes to other body parts, as an adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy in combination with surgery, and during intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is delivered in patients with cancer of the inner abdominal lining. This technique involves direct delivery of the drugs into the abdomen. If the chemotherapy drugs are heated before administration into the abdomen, the procedure is known as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
  • Targeted therapy: Several specific genes and proteins are present in the cancer cells responsible for maintaining vitality. Targeted therapy targets these genes and proteins and treats cancer by restricting the growth of cancer cells. This therapy is generally used in patients with lymphoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
  • Immunotherapy: This therapy assists the immune system of the patients in fighting against cancer cells. Cancer cells produce a certain protein that helps them to evade the immune system. Immunotherapy works by interfering with the synthesis of these proteins and makes the cancer cell vulnerable to being attacked by the immune system. The sample tissue should be tested for the efficacy of immunotherapy before it is given to the patients. The therapy generally used is advanced small intestine cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is recommended in patients in whom cancer cannot be removed completely by surgery. In some cases, this therapy may also be used in combination with chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancerous cells. Radiation therapy also relieves the symptoms in patients with advanced small bowel cancer.
  • Somatostatin analogs: These drugs are used for treating carcinoid tumors that occur in the small intestine. The therapy reduces excessive hormonal synthesis. Somatostatin analogs are used for relieving the symptoms and managing the disease.

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