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Lutheran Medical Center

Small Bowel Tumors

Being told you have a tumor can be very unsettling. What does it mean? What is the treatment? What does recovery look like? These are just some of the questions you're likely to have. Luckily we have those answers.

Although rare, a variety of tumors, both malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous), can grow in the small intestine.

The diagnosis of a small bowel tumor is often made late in the course of the disease. This is due to the rarity of these tumors as well as a lack of specific symptoms. Many patients complain of:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss

Because these symptoms are so general and small intestinal tumors so rare, early diagnosis requires your doctor to suspect and test specifically for the tumor.

Malignant, or cancerous, tumors include:

  • Adenocarcinomas
  • Carcinoids
  • Lymphomas
  • Sarcomas

Learn more about our cancer care.

Noncancerous, or benign lesions, in the small intestine include:

  • Adenomas
  • Hamartomas
  • Leiomyomas
  • Lipomas

Surgery for small bowel tumors

Most small bowel tumors will need surgical removal. Treatment is usually removal of the tumor, along with surrounding small intestine. The small intestine is then reconnected (like 2 ends of a hose).

If your tumor is cancerous, we will refer you to an oncologist or a cancer specialist. They will to determine if further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy is necessary.

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