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Cancer of the Small Intestine (cont.)

Prevention

The association of small bowel cancer with underlying conditions makes it possible to identify populations at risk and to develop screening programs.

  • People with a family history of polyp syndromes, such as Peutz-Jeghers and Gardner syndrome, may benefit from regular screening using upper GI tract barium studies.
  • People with celiac disease are at higher risk of developing both adenocarcinoma and lymphoma of the small bowel. They need to maintain a gluten-free diet.
  • People with celiac disease who also have new onset weight loss, diarrhea, or abdominal pain need immediate medical attention, including possible CT scan of the abdomen and barium study of the small bowel to rule out cancer.
  • People with Crohn disease and small bowel bypass procedures also require immediate attention.
  • Crohn disease - related adenocarcinoma frequently develops in the lower end of the small bowel, making colonoscopy a potentially useful screening tool.

Small Intestine Picture

The small intestine is positioned between the stomach and the colon and is responsible for food absorption.
The small intestine is positioned between the stomach and the colon and is responsible for food absorption.

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2014
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