|Treatment of cancer is guided by staging which helps determine the cancer's size, location and if it has invaded lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Treatment modalities include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, singly or in combination. Most small intestinal cancers grow in the upper section of the small intestine (duodenum), and when they are located in this area, it is usually necessary to remove part of the pancreas, along with the tumor and a portion of the duodenum (pancreaticoduodenectomy). Removal of the tumor, along with a portion of the bowel, is the treatment of choice for cancer located in the jejunum and ileum as well. When a portion of the small intestine is removed, the remaining ends of small intestine may be joined together, or it may be necessary to create a permanent or temporary opening through the abdominal wall for the evacuation of fecal material (ileostomy).|
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be administered through external beams or by placing tiny containers that hold radioisotopes (substances that release radiation) into the body near the site of the cancer. Medications that increase the cancer cell's susceptibility to the effects of radiation (radiosensitizers) may also be administered.
Chemotherapy involves the administration of various medicines or combinations of medicines that kill cancer cells that may have escaped from surgery or have already spread to other parts of the body. Chemotherapy is not highly effective on small bowel cancer, although it may be used in conjunction with surgery.
Immunotherapy (also called biological or biological response modifier therapy) involves the administration of naturally occurring or laboratory-produced substances that improve the immune system's ability to fight cancer. Recent advances in treatment using a substance that binds to an enzyme in the cancer cell and prevents it from reproducing (imatinib mesylate) look promising for gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Neither chemotherapy nor radiation therapy is effective in improving survival in individuals with small intestinal cancer in its advanced stages, although radiation therapy may be used for palliative treatment.
Source: Medical Disability Advisor