The duodenum is the first and quickest part of the small intestine. It lies between your stomach and the jejunum, the next portion of your small intestine. The duodenum is shaped like a horseshoe and gets partly absorbed food from the stomach. This organ plays a crucial function in the gastrointestinal procedure. Chemical secretions and bile are cleared into the duodenum to help break down food passed from the stomach. It’s here that vitamins and other nutrients begin to absorb into the body before the food passes to the jejunum.
Duodenal cancer, though unusual, can affect this gastrointestinal procedure and prevent your body from absorbing essential minerals needed to operate correctly.
Duodenal Cancer Symptoms
Duodenal cancer is an uncommon form of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. When cancer cells start to form in the duodenum, tumors can block food from going through the gastrointestinal tract.
When food is not able to pass through the small intestine or when the body is unable to absorb necessary vitamins, you may experience a number of symptoms:
- abdominal cramping
- acid reflux
- weight loss
- bloody stools
For the most part, symptoms from duodenal cancer will appear in the later phases of the disease once the tumor has grown big enough to block food passage. At that point, you might notice an abdominal mass.
Types of Duodenal Cancer
Duodenal cancer can be classified into 5 significant types:
Diagnosing this Disease
Diagnosing duodenal cancer can be hard due to the fact that symptoms occur in later stages of the disease. This can also make it difficult to treat.
Duodenal cancer can be diagnosed in 5 different phases:
Some treatments to assist find cancer in your small intestine include:
- tests that produce detailed pictures of your GI tract, such as an MRI or CT scan
- endoscopy, which involves examining the inside of your GI tract using a flexible tube with a small camera connected
- removal of a percentage of tissue for analysis, called a biopsy
- barium swallow, which is an X-ray treatment that examines your upper GI tract
Duodenal Cancer Treatment
Treatment for this unusual cancer greatly depends on the stage it has actually been diagnosed. However, the most common and efficient treatment option is surgery alone or accompanied by chemotherapy, radiation, or both.
Doctors will attempt to remove tumors in the duodenum to permit food passage from the stomach. Another surgical choice is the Whipple procedure, which gets rid of the duodenum, gallbladder, and a portion of the pancreas.
An alternative to surgical treatment is chemotherapy to destroy deadly cancer cells. Nevertheless, this treatment method can cause a number of side effects, consisting of:
- hair loss
- weight loss
Some people pick to take part in more holistic treatments, often by incorporating natural home remedy and herbs into their daily regimen. Some herbal treatments can help to minimize malignant tumors and enhance unpleasant signs. Talk to your doctor if you do wish to attempt using such treatments. They might have suggestions for which to attempt or concerns about reactions that could accompany medications you’re taking.
Outlook for Duodenal Cancer
Duodenal cancer affects the first part of the small intestine. It can be dangerous if left untreated. Since it’s so rare, research is still being done to discover more efficient treatments and methods to find the cancer earlier.
Duodenal cancer can be tough to treat since signs occur later on in the disease. If your family has a history of cancer, or if you start to experience irregular signs, visit your doctor. Early detection can provide the best opportunity to treat and eliminate cancer.