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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Adenocarcinoma of the Small Intestine
      Category : Health Centers > Cancers and Tumors

Adenocarcinoma of the Small Intestine

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Adenocarcinoma of the small intestine is a form of cancer that occurs in the part of the intestine that descends from the stomach. It is a rare form of cancer.

What is going on in the body?

The small intestine plays a key role in the digestion of foods. Many nutrients are absorbed by the small intestine as food passes through it. Adenocarcinoma occurs in the tissues that line the small intestine. It causes the cells in these tissues to grow and multiply out of control. These cells form a tumor along the wall of the intestine. This tumor then begins to invade the tissues around it.

In time, the tumor will grow through the intestinal wall. The tumor then goes on to invade structures around the intestine. Cancer cells can break off from the tumor and metastasize. This means the cancer is spread through the bloodstream. Cancer cells can also spread through the system that drains into lymph nodes.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

The risk factors for this type of cancer are not well defined. Diet may play a role, especially a diet high in nitrates. Some other risk factors may include:

  • celiac disease, in which the body is unable to absorb certain foods
  • Crohn disease, an inflammation of the bowel
  • a history of adenocarcinoma elsewhere in the body
  • a history of colorectal cancer
  • immunodeficiency disorders that lead to a weakened immune system
  • inherited gastrointestinal syndromes
  • older age


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    Adenocarcinoma of the Small Intestine: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Miriam P. Rogers, EdD, RN, AOCN, CNS
    Reviewer: Kathleen A. MacNaughton, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 10/07/02

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