Primary malignant tumors of the small bowel

American Journal of Surgery
V K Mittal, J H Bodzin


Primary malignant tumors of the small bowel are uncommon and are often diagnosed at an advanced stage. A 10 year survey (1967 to 1977) of the clinical records at one hospital revealed 39 cases of primary malignant tumors of the small bowel. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain (89.7 percent) and weight loss (77 percent). Six patients presented with complications of enterovesical fistula, bleeding and perforation. Preoperative diagnosis was suspected in 27 cases (69.2 percent). Adenocarcinoma was the most common tumor, followed by carcinoid tumor, lymphoma, leiomyosarcoma and melanoma. The treatment of choice was surgical resection whenever possible. Curative resection was attempted in 25 cases. Adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy was used in four patients with lymphoma. Twenty-seven patients (69.2 percent) are alive from 1 to 6 years after diagnosis and treatment. The 5 year survival rate is 35 percent. Earlier diagnosis is essential if the prognosis for patients with small bowel malignancy is to be improved.


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