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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Intestinal cancer information

What is intestinal cancer?

Intestinal cancer is the presence of cancerous cells in the small or large intestines. The intestines are part of the body's gastrointestinal (digestive) system. Cancer that develops in the large intestine (or large bowel) is called colorectal cancer. Small intestine cancer is a rare disease in which cancer cells grow in the small intestine (or small bowel).

The longest section of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the small intestine is a long, coiled tube that measures three and half times the length of the body. It connects the stomach to the large intestine. The small intestine digests and absorbs nutrients. It is divided into three sections: the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Most types of small intestine cancer develop in the duodenum.

The ampulla of Vater, also called hepatopancreatic ampulla, is a region where the common bile duct and pancreatic duct open into the duodenum (the upper portion of the small intestine). Cancer of the ampulla of Vater, or ampullary cancer, is usually not considered an intestinal cancer. Rather, this type of intestinal cancer is treated like pancreatic cancer.

Intestinal cancer incidence

The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 10,470 people in the United States will be diagnosed with small intestine cancer in 2018.

Types of intestinal cancer

Learn about different types of intestinal cancer.

Intestinal cancer symptoms

Read about common intestinal cancer symptoms.

Intestinal cancer risk factors

Read about common risk factors for intestinal cancer.

Stages of intestinal cancer

Learn about the stages of intestinal cancer

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