Your treatment team will make recommendations based on the type of small bowel cancer, location and size of the tumor, and stage of the cancer. Treatment for small bowel cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy.
Surgery offers the best chance of curing most forms of small bowel cancer. Most commonly, doctors will remove the section (surgical resection) of the small bowel that contains cancerous tissue and remove nearby lymph nodes to see if the disease has spread. Options may include:
If a tumor cannot be removed, surgeons might perform a bypass to relieve a blockage in the bowel.
Doctors may recommend radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, which uses high-dose X-rays to destroy cancer cells. The radiation comes from a machine aimed at the area of the cancer and is usually delivered along with chemotherapy after surgery.
When a small bowel cancer has spread or is likely to spread to other organs, chemotherapy may be an option. Its effectiveness in small bowel cancer is still being researched in clinical trials at Mayo Clinic.
For individuals who have a carcinoid tumor, a hormone-blocking therapy known as somatostatin therapy can help slow the growth of the tumor and decrease symptoms produced by the tumor.
Mayo Clinic's Cancer Education Center offers education and support for cancer patients and their families and friends.