The unknown colon cancer: How to prevent tumors in the small intestine

When it comes to colon cancer, most people think of colon cancer. What is less well known is that the small intestine can also develop malignant tumors. What you should know about it, about symptoms, treatment and the combination of colon and small bowel cancer.

Small bowel cancer accounts for up to five percent of all bowel cancers; around 2,600 men and women were diagnosed with small bowel cancer in 2016, compared with around 60,000 colon cancer. “It is important to classify a carcinoma on the one hand by localization, i.e. in the case of bowel cancer, small or colon cancer, but also differentiate it on the basis of its biological characteristics,” reports Ulrich Graeven, chief physician at the Clinic for Hematology, Oncology and Gastroenterology at Maria Hilf Mönchengladbach Hospital.

Cancer of the small intestine is usually biologically very different from cancer of the colon

While colon cancer is usually adeno tumors, i.e. growths of the mucous membrane, this affects only a small fraction of small bowel cancer. The most common forms of small bowel cancer, depending on the cells that cause the disease, are:

  • Neuroendocrine tumors (NET) with around 50 percent, they arise from hormone-producing cells
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) make up about ten percent, these tumors originate from the connective tissue in the gastrointestinal tract.

The differing biological characteristics of the two types of colon cancer, colon and small bowel cancer, “make these two diseases so fundamentally different, even though both affect the bowel,” explains the oncologist.

Causes of small bowel cancer and why it is less common than colon cancer

What triggers the fact that the cells in the small intestine no longer act normally, but degenerate and multiply in an uncontrolled manner, is still largely unknown. It is assumed that there is a connection with pollutants in food that come into contact with the small intestine during passage and can thus influence its cells.

It is well known that the small intestine connects directly to the stomach. This first section of the three-part small intestine is called the duodenum, followed by the jejunum and ileum. In addition to transporting the chyme to the large intestine, the task of the five-meter-long small intestine is to break down certain food components and release them into the blood. The most important ones are carbohydrates, which are processed into various sugars, fat, but also vitamins and trace elements.

The chyme is still thin in this section of the intestine and is therefore transported on quickly. The contact time with the intestinal wall is much shorter than later in the large intestine, “which could explain why colon cancer is much more common than small intestine cancer,” the gastroenterologist explains the possible background. In addition, the mucous membrane in the small intestine is less susceptible to certain factors such as pollutants than that in the large intestine.

Risk factor hereditary diseases

However, there is also a familial willingness to develop small bowel cancer: Hereditary polyposis syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Lynch syndrome. Genetically, a large number of polyps develop in the large intestine, sometimes also in the small intestine. These are adenocarcinomas, but are very rare in the small intestine compared to NET and GIST.

Small intestinal tumors associated with FAP are usually only discovered when polyps have been detected in the large intestine. In the course of further diagnosis of the familial predisposition, these rare small bowel carcinomas are also identified.

Small bowel cancer symptoms

Small bowel cancer usually grows slowly. Frequently, signs only appear when the disease has progressed and the tumor is taking up space. Depending on you can

  • Bleeding,
  • Stomach pain,
  • nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea

occur. If the tumor is large, it can even block the intestines (ileus). The intestinal obstruction manifests itself through massive pain, it is always a medical emergency that is life-threatening and must be treated immediately.

Small bowel cancer prognosis varies

Small bowel cancer is usually only discovered at an advanced stage. In more than 70 percent, the carcinoma is only diagnosed in stage three or four, i.e. later than this applies to this common colon cancer – again the comparison with colon cancer.

The survival rates for small bowel cancer are therefore somewhat lower. “The decisive factor, however, is always the type of cancer of the small intestine,” explains the expert. If a GIST or NET is detected early, the chances of survival are very good. If, on the other hand, it is adenocarcinoma, which is also usually discovered later, the prognosis is not quite as favorable.

Diagnosis of small bowel cancer

The classic examination methods of gastroscopy and colonoscopy only cover the upper or lower part of the small intestine, “the almost five meters in between are not reached with these examination techniques,” explains the expert.

Imaging methods such as magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) or computed tomography (CT) are only used if there are symptoms and suspicion of this intestinal tumor. Capsule endoscopy, which shows images from the small intestine, also provides information.

Only when these examinations reveal an abnormality is it possible to specifically mirror the small intestine. “However, this is very time-consuming and cannot be used as a preventive examination – also because these intestinal tumors are very rare,” emphasizes Ulrich Graeven.

Small intestinal cancer therapies – surgery and its consequences

Overall, the following applies to the various small intestinal tumors: If possible, an operation should be performed. “If the tumor is limited, parts of the small intestine can usually be removed without any problems,” explains the oncologist in more detail.

A stoma, i.e. an artificial anus, is therefore usually not necessary. However, it is crucial which part of the small intestine is missing and which functions it had, which trace elements and vitamins it passed on to the body. This deficiency must then be compensated for through appropriate nutrition or medication.

Treatment for small bowel cancer varies depending on the type of tumor

Parts of the removed tumor are examined histologically. For the therapy plan, it is crucial whether it is NET, GIST or the rare familial adenocarcinoma in the small intestine. “A generally applicable therapy scheme for small bowel cancer is not possible because there is not just one small bowel cancer, but different ones, it always depends on its type,” emphasizes the oncologist.

Accordingly, there are many different therapy options. If a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) has metastasized, for example, there are very good drugs for further treatment. “This is not the classic chemotherapy, but we use so-called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, with very good results,” reports the expert. These are inhibitors, such as imitanib, that can block certain signaling pathways within the cells. They are sometimes also used before an operation to reduce the size of a tumor that is too large and therefore inoperable, or after an operation to avoid a relapse.

If the cancer of the small intestine is a neuroendocrine tumor (NET), on the other hand, surgery is often the only treatment required. The NET is further subdivided with regard to the need for drug therapy, taking into account its growth rate. This subdivision of the NET is also of crucial importance for planning therapy for metastatic NET.

Ademocarcinoma of the small intestine is treated on the basis of the results from the treatment of colon tumors.

Small bowel cancer prevention

Targeted prevention against these rare tumors is hardly possible – apart from the well-known rules for a healthy life, i.e. without smoking, with a sensible diet, extensive alcohol restriction and sufficient exercise. Because little is known about the possible causes of small bowel cancer, they cannot be influenced.

However, there is an important tip from the expert for everyone in whose families there are genetically determined polyps in the large intestine: Remember to not only limit the preventive measures to the large intestine, but also to extend it to the small intestine. Although this is provided for in the relevant colorectal cancer screening and follow-up programs, it must not be overlooked.

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At 20, 40, 60 and 70 years: how to eat healthily at any age

Sometimes the body needs more protein, sometimes more carbohydrates and after a certain age it should be less overall. If you want to eat healthily for a lifetime, you should always keep an eye on your age when shopping and cooking.

According to today’s recommendations, a healthy diet consists of plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, good oils, as little industrially processed food as possible, economical consumption of animal products, white flour and sugar – from children to old people.

So there is only healthy and unhealthy diet, but no age-related diet. But: Over the years and depending on the situation in life, the need and utilization of nutrients change. And here age definitely plays a role. For example, the nutritionists at the University of California in San Diego have put together an overview of what to look out for .

This is what matters from 20 to 40:

The basal metabolic rate is highest in young adults, which means that the body consumes the most calories even without physical activity. At this age, many people can “eat what they want” without getting fat. At least at this age, the body forgives a few fast-food orgies and other antics.

In general, it is important to build up muscles, bones and connective tissue between the ages of 20 and 30 , also with the help of a sensible diet. Everyone can benefit from this basis in later years, when it is no longer so easy to maintain fitness.

In these years, special attention to nutrition requires more of a life circumstance for women: pregnancy.

Special dietary instructions for young pregnant women only

In addition to a diet full of high-quality nutrients and the natural avoidance of tobacco and alcohol , it is important to ensure an optimal supply of vitamins, minerals and trace elements so that the child develops well. Eating for two, on the other hand, is completely unnecessary and wrong.

Therefore, all expectant mothers should take folic acid in the first 3 months of pregnancy . Iodine tablets can also be useful. And vegans also have to pay attention to a number of micronutrients that they lack by avoiding animal foods: iron, zinc , calcium, vitamins B12, B2 and D as well as an appropriate intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

This is important from 40:

From the age of 40, the metabolism begins to slow down. While the body can usually break down too much sugar and carbohydrates by the age of 30, it loses this ability by the age of 40 at the latest. Suddenly, an unchanged diet is reflected in the stomach and hips.

Anyone who is only now finding an adequate diet can still set the course for a healthy future.

Anyone who has already eaten reasonably healthy should now pay more attention to the following elements:

  • Fruits and vegetables in bright colors – the antioxidants they contain act as cell protection with an antiaging effect in the body.
  • more whole grains on the menu
  • a (small) portion of red meat twice a week – good for building muscle , also important for women because of the prevention of iron deficiency
  • Vegetarians should pay particular attention to green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard.

Here are some things to watch out for in your 50s and 60s:

Now begins a dangerous age for cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Anyone who has neglected their diet and has not taken much exercise must expect type 2 diabetes .

It is now important to have a diet that keeps the blood sugar level stable and prevents deposits in the blood vessels. It should be low in cholesterol, high in fiber and slowly digestible carbohydrates, so:

  • lots of vegetables
  • little animal fat
  • no sugared soft drinks
  • little white flour products

In addition:

  • nuts
  • Good oils (olive, flaxseed)
  • Fish (omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D)
  • Low-fat dairy products (calcium)

Changes in hormones accelerate the loss of calcium from the bones. The substitution of calcium plus vitamin D can now counteract the threat of osteoporosis . Because of the breakdown of estrogen during menopause , it occurs earlier and more frequently in women. But bone loss threatens men too.

An omega-3 supplement can benefit heart health if someone doesn’t eat sea fish. Omega-3 fatty acids stabilize the blood vessels.

Proper nutrition with 70 plus:

With age, various physiological and psychological changes occur that directly affect nutritional needs. The taste buds and appetite decrease, as does the desire to cook freshly and by yourself.

The body is less able to absorb and use many vitamins and minerals. With age, the digestive juices in the stomach change, reducing the absorption of iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid.

Long-term use of prescription drugs can decrease the absorption of certain nutrients.

Less calories, but not less nutrients

Seniors need fewer calories than younger people, but no fewer nutrients. Protein becomes important again in old age: it can delay muscle loss in old age, especially when combined with strength training.

As a rule of thumb, one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . However, it should not be exclusively protein from meat, as it promotes inflammation, especially in the joints.

Because digestion becomes sluggish with age, fiber is important for the 70+ generation. A teaspoon of psyllium husks are a recommended alternative to the vegetables or whole grains that would be necessary for an optimal supply. To do this, seniors have to drink plenty, even if that is difficult for many.

Food from the chemistry kit: vegan meat substitutes are so unhealthy

Vegan nutrition is often equated with healthy and ecologically correct. This is a big misunderstanding when it comes to meat substitutes made from soy or wheat protein. Only a lot of salt, fat and additives create flavor on the plate.

  • Soy or wheat protein taste like nothing, especially not like meat.
  • Abundant food chemistry turns plants into meat substitutes.
  • Vegan ready meals are no healthier than conventional products.

Guess what that is: soy protein, paprika, onions, sunflower oil, drinking water, wheat protein, chicken protein powder, wheat flour, wheat starch, table salt, spices, yeast, maltodextrin, herbs, thickener: (guar gum), smoke flavor?

These 16 ingredients make vegetarian mini meatballs from Lidl’s “My best Veggie” series. It’s a casual yet typical example of meat dishes without meat. A lot of food chemistry is required before soy becomes a meatball or seitan becomes a currywurst. Taste, texture and appearance are only created through skillful handling of additives and aromas from the laboratory.

Vegan ready meals are too salty and too greasy

Too many additives, including too much salt, sugar and fat in meat substitutes, criticized the Hamburg Consumer Center two years ago in the “Market Check: Vegan Food” . Nothing has changed since then. The criticism also applies to the 2.5 grams of salt and 13.3 grams of fat per 100 grams of meatball in our example.

Vegetarian and vegan ready meals, sausage and cheese preparations are no more unhealthy than the originals – but neither are they healthier or better in quality. But this is what many consumers expect, as the NDR’s consumer magazine “Markt” recently showed in a road test:

Consumers have false expectations of “vegan”

Quite a number of respondents were in favor of vegetarian products because they considered them healthy and low in calories. When they were referred to the list of ingredients, they reacted surprised and slightly shocked.

  • The vegetarian currywurst tested had 100 kilocalories more than the original made from meat from the same manufacturer.
  • 100 grams of meatless salami contained 3.3 grams of salt. This is more than half of the daily dose of six grams recommended by the German Nutrition Society.
  • Some examples of sausages contained not only rapeseed oil, which is considered healthy, but also cheap palm fat. Because of its saturated fatty acids, it is one of the fats that are harmful to health.
  • Overall, thickeners, stabilizers, colors and preservatives are on the long lists of ingredients in meat substitutes – all additives that nutrition experts are a thorn in the side of even conventional foods.

Ready meals with meat substitutes or sausage imitations no longer have anything to do with the healthy wholefood diet of traditional vegetarians. If you want to eat valuable food without meat, you should rely on fresh food and creative preparation – the best advice for healthy eating has always been.

The Pomegranate Fruit For Better Heart And Eye Health

If уоu аrе a fan оf great tasting fruits thаt аrе good fоr уоu thаt eliminate thе compliant thаt a lot оf people hаvе thаt foods thаt аrе good fоr уоu don’t taste good, thеn уоu ѕhоuld add thе Pomegranate fruit tо уоur diet. Thіѕ fruit іѕ rich іn vitamins, minerals аnd antioxidants thаt provide уоu wіth a variety оf health benefits ranging frоm better heart health, good digestive health tо better immunity аnd prostate health аѕ wеll. Hоwеvеr, did уоu know thаt thе Pomegranate fruit іѕ аlѕо good fоr уоur heart аnd уоur eyes аѕ well? Thеrеfоrе, hеrе іѕ ѕоmе information аѕ tо thе reasons whу уоu ѕhоuld include thе Pomegranate fruit іn уоur diet:

Eye Health: Thіѕ fruit іѕ rich іn Vitamins A, B аnd C аnd E. Vitamin A іѕ known аѕ thе Vitamin thаt supports vision health. Thіѕ іѕ true frоm thе point оf view оf thе fact thаt a deficiency іn thіѕ vitamin саn саuѕе night blindness. Thеrеfоrе, іf уоu аrе concerned аbоut doing thе things thаt уоu need tо dо tо improve уоur night vision thіѕ nutrient саn help уоu tо achieve thаt objective. In scientific studies research hаѕ shown thаt Vitamin B consumption hаѕ reduced thе risks fоr age related vision disorders ѕuсh аѕ Macular Degeneration аnd cataracts.

Heart Health: Thіѕ fruit іѕ rich іn Potassium. Potassium hаѕ bееn shown іn scientific research studies tо improve heart health. Duе tо thе fact thаt thе body’s circulation ѕуѕtеm іѕ connective consuming аn adequate аmоunt оf Potassium іn уоur diet саn increase circulation tо thе heart. An increase іn circulation tо thіѕ organ аlѕо benefits уоur eyes. Thіѕ іѕ duе tо thе fact thаt a healthy heart equals a properly working visual ѕуѕtеm. Alѕо, Vitamin C supports bоth heart health аnd eye health аѕ wеll. Thіѕ іѕ duе tо thе fact thаt іt lowers blood pressure аnd аlѕо supports eye health bу maintaining healthy pressure levels іn thе eyes thеrеbу reducing thе risks fоr thе age related eye disease Glaucoma.

Prostate Health: A research study measured thе rates оf Increasing PSA levels іn men аnd thе effects thаt drinking Pomegranate Juice wоuld hаvе оn thіѕ aspect оf thеіr prostate health. Thіѕ study revealed thаt drinking Pomegranate Juice significantly slowed thе rate оf increasing PSA levels іn men wіth unhealthy levels оf PSA іn thеіr ѕуѕtеm аѕ wеll аѕ thоѕе whо wеrе suffering frоm prostate cancer. Thіѕ іѕ good news fоr уоu іf уоu hаvе concerns аbоut уоur prostate health аѕ thеrе іѕ a connection bеtwееn a reduction іn PSA levels аnd a reduced risk fоr prostate cancer аnd problems associated wіth thе enlargement оf thе Prostate.

Thе Pomegranate fruit іѕ a healthy fruit thаt provides a series оf health benefits. Sоmе оf thеѕе include better heart health, better digestive health аnd better eye health аѕ wеll. Thеrе іѕ a connection bеtwееn heart health аnd eye health. Thе nutrients contained іn thе Pomegranate fruit consists оf vitamins A,B,C аnd E аnd іt аlѕо contains Potassium; nutrients thаt work tоgеthеr collectively tо improve thе health оf bоth thе eyes аnd thе heart аѕ wеll. Bу consuming thіѕ fruit уоu саn dо thе things thаt уоu need tо dо tо increase уоur heart health аnd eye health аt thе ѕаmе tіmе.