A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Small Intestine Cancer

Small Intestine Cancer
At City of Hope, a multidisciplinary team of nationally recognized experts in the research, diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer provides outstanding medical care to patients with small intestine cancer, also known as small bowel cancer. We are experts in treating patients — both newly diagnosed and those experiencing a recurrence — with all types of small intestine cancer, including:
 
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Sarcomas
  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
  • Lymphomas
 
City of Hope researchers and physicians have pioneered new strategies for fighting small intestine cancer. Our approach to treating small intestine cancer combines aggressive therapies, state-of-the-art surgical techniques and technologies with highly compassionate care to give patients the best possible outcomes. Treatment for small intestine cancer may involve:
 
 
Through our active clinical trials research program — among the most extensive in the nation — we can often provide patients with access to promising new anticancer drugs and technologies not available elsewhere.
 

Diagnosing Small Intestine Cancer

Several different tests are used to detect small intestine cancer:
 
  • Physical exam and history
  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Gastrointestinal X-ray (also called an upper GI series):  For this examination, the patient drinks a liquid containing barium, which makes the gastrointestinal tract easier to see in the X-ray.
  • Barium enema:  A series of X-rays of the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
  • CT or CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan:  This procedure uses a computer connected to an X-ray machine to obtain detailed pictures of areas inside the body. A dye may be used to help visualize organs or tissues more clearly. 
  • PET (positron emission tomography) scan:  This scan is used to identify malignant cells even before an actual “lump or bump” can be detected in a physical exam, or on CAT or MRI scans. A small amount of radionuclide glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. Because cancer cells divide more frequently than normal cells, they take up more glucose than normal cells and appear brighter in the scan.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging):  MRI creates a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, using the combination of a powerful magnet, radio waves and computer imaging.
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy:  A thin, lighted tube called an endoscope is inserted into the body. The device emits ultrasound waves that create images of internal organs and structures.
  • Colonoscope:  A thin, lighted tube is inserted through the rectum into the large intestine.
  • Biopsy:  Tissue samples are examined under the microscope to determine what types of cells are present.
 

Small Intestine Cancer Treatment Options

Different types of treatment are available for patients with small intestine cancer.
 
 
Surgery is the primary treatment used for localized tumors. When applicable, our specialists utilizeminimally invasive surgery (MIS) with advanced technologies such as laparoscopy and the da Vinci S Surgical System with robotic capabilities that allows for greater precision. These surgeries feature small incisions and potentially:
  • Less blood loss, pain and visible incisions
  • Shorter hospital stay and recovery time
  • Fewer complications and quicker return to normal activities
 
One of the following surgical procedures may be used:
 
  • Resection:  This surgery removes 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:  This surgery allows food in the small intestine to go around (bypass) a tumor that is blocking the intestine but cannot be removed.
 
 
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. Our Department of Radiation Oncology was the first in the western United States to offer the Helical TomoTherapy Hi-Art System, one of the first radiation therapy systems of its kind to integrate radiation therapy and tumor imaging capabilities comparable to a diagnostic computed tomography (CT) scan.
 
Two types of technology are integrated – spiral CT scanning and intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, that produces hundreds of pencil beams of radiation (each varying in intensity) that rotate spirally around a tumor. The high dose region of radiation can be shaped or sculpted to fit the exact shape of each patient’s tumor, resulting in more effective and potentially curative doses to the cancer. This, in turn, reduces damage to normal tissues and offers fewer complications.

Radiation with Radiosensitizers
Radiosensitizers are drugs that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy. Combining radiation therapy with radiosensitizers may kill more tumor cells. This treatment is given along with chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy – the use of anti-cancer medicines – includes a wide range of drugs and treatment strategies to treat small intestine cancer. City of Hope provides both standard chemotherapies as well as access to newly developed drugs through an extensive program of clinical trials.
 
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the best options, so that a course of chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient.
 

Small Intestine Cancer Resources

All of our patients have access to the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, which offers a wide array of support and educational services. Patients and loved ones may work with a coordinated group of social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, patient navigators, pain management specialists and spiritual care providers at the center, as well as participate in programs.
 
Additional Resources
 
800-ACS-2345
866-228-4327 for TYY
The American Cancer Society has many national and local programs, as well as a 24-hour support line, to help cancer survivors with problems such as travel, lodging and emotional issues.
 
National Comprehensive Cancer Network
888-909- NCCN (6226)
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of 19 of the world's leading cancer centers, is an authoritative source of information to help patients and health professionals make informed decisions about cancer care.

National Cancer Institute
800-4-CANCER
The National Cancer Institute, established under the National Cancer Act of 1937, is the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training.
 
U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health
301-496-4000
301-402-9612 for TYY
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and the federal focal point for medical research in the United States. The NIH, comprising 27 separate institutes and centers, is one of eight health agencies of the Public Health Service, which, in turn, is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

 

 

Small Intestine Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

City of Hope has long been a leader in cancer research, driven to bring the latest scientific findings into clinical practice as quickly as possible. With our extensive program of clinical trials, patients here have access to new treatments that are not yet available elsewhere.

To learn more about our clinical trials program and specifically about trials for small intestine cancer, click here .

 

 

 

Small Intestine Cancer Team

Support This Program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.

Joe Komsky
Senior Director
Phone: 213-241-7293
Email: jkomsky@coh.org

 
 
Our Programs and Treatments

City of Hope is a national leader in cancer treatment and prevention. Read more...

Our treatment facilities are located throughout our 100+ acre grounds in Duarte, California as well as in  Antelope Valley, South Pasadena, Santa Clarita and Palm Springs.
City of Hope combines compassionate care with the best and most innovative science. Our 100+ acre campus is designed to meet the full range of needs of our patients and families. This guide is designed to help you take advantage of all that is offered at City of Hope - Duarte.
Clinical Trials
Our aggressive pursuit to discover better ways to help patients now – not years from now – places us among the leaders worldwide in the administration of clinical trials.
 
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