4. Small Intestinal Cancers

  1. Janusz Jankowski MB ChB, MSc, MD, PhD, FRCP, FACG, AGAF2,3,4 and
  2. Ernest Hawk MD, MPH5
  1. Nadir Arber and
  2. Menachem Moshkowitz

Published Online: 15 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118423318.ch4

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer

How to Cite

Arber, N. and Moshkowitz, M. (2012) Small Intestinal Cancers, in Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer (eds J. Jankowski and E. Hawk), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118423318.ch4

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Sir James Black Professor of Gastrointestinal Biology and Trials, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Barts and Th e London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

  2. 3

    Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK

  3. 4

    James Black Senior Fellow, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  4. 5

    Vice President and Division Head, Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences, Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Author Information

  1. Tel Aviv Medical Center and Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 12 JUL 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470656242

Online ISBN: 9781118423318



  • Adenocarcinoma;
  • CT scan;
  • endoscopy;
  • enteroscopy;
  • GIST;
  • lymphoma;
  • MALToma;
  • neuroendocrine tumors;
  • sarcomas


Small bowel tumors are extremely rare and account for only 2% of all gastrointestinal malignancies. Approximately one-third of the tumors are benign and two-thirds are malignant at the time of diagnosis.

Adenocarcinoma is the most common malignancy accounting for 40% of primary small bowel neoplasms. Other tumors are as follows: neuroendocrine tumors (carcinoid), 20--40%; lymphomas, 14%; and sarcomas, 11--13%.

Small bowel tumors are usually asymptomatic in the early stages, but eventually patients develop symptoms due to progression of the disease. The most frequent presenting symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and intestinal obstruction.

The diagnostic strategies for detecting small tumors include conventional noninvasive imaging modalities (small bowel barium series, enteroclysis, CT scan, and MRI), as well as endoscopic modalities (push enteroscopy, double-balloon enteroscopy, and video-capsule endoscopy). The later newer techniques had improved the diagnostic accuracy of detecting small bowel tumors.