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Small Bowel Tumors

Small bowel tumors are rare, and many patients do not experience symptoms. Nearly half of all small bowel tumors are found by accident during a surgery or exam to investigate the small intestine for a blockage or to treat a condition, such as Crohn’s disease. Small bowel tumors can develop into ulcers that cause gastrointestinal bleeding.

Small bowel tumors can cause symptoms that come and go or are constant, especially if they become cancerous. Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding

There are five kinds of malignant small bowel tumors:

  • Adenocarcinomas
  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTS)
  • Leiomyosarcomas
  • Lymphomas

Each category of tumor behaves differently because it originates from various cells in your body.

The most common small bowel tumors are adenocarcinomas, which begin in glandular tissue. Adenocarcinomas are similar to colon cancer. About 50 percent of adenocarcinomas cluster in the duodenum, the part of the small intestine that is closest to the stomach. Most adenocarcinomas arise from premalignant adenomas. Heredity and other diseases may also play a role in the occurrence of small bowel tumors.

At Indiana University Health, we use single balloon and double balloon enteroscopy procedures to locate and treat small bowel tumors. These exams further investigate abnormalities found in other diagnostic endoscopies, such as upper endoscopy. Double balloon enteroscopy lets your physician examine almost your entire intestinal tract, including hard-to-reach spaces in the small intestine. We are pioneers in using this procedure to visualize, diagnose, biopsy and treat small bowel tumors, so you can manage your symptoms and feel better. 

Our deep or double balloon enteroscopy program is the only one in Indiana. Our affiliation with the IU School of Medicine and the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology allows us to access the skills of many gastrointestinal experts, including surgeons and oncologists, to quickly treat your small bowel tumors.

Once your small bowel tumor is located, double balloon enteroscopy lets your physician biopsy the tumor, remove it if it is small, or tattoo the tumor for future surgery.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Small Bowel Tumors Treatment Information

As pioneers in advanced gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures, we provide a multi-disciplinary approach to treating your small bowel tumors, managing symptoms and dealing with cancer if it is present.


Small Bowel Tumors Locations & Physicians

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Small Bowel Tumors Support Services

Learn more about small bowel tumors treatments at these websites: