According to DigoPaul, the duodenal tumor is a tumor of the duodenum that can be benign or malignant. Hereditary genetic disposition is discussed for duodenal tumors. The treatment usually corresponds to surgical removal of the tumor.
What is a duodenal tumor?
The duodenum is also known as the duodenum. This is the first short section of the small intestine, which is around 30 centimeters long in the human organism. The anatomical structure is the edge of the pancreatic head and is fused with the back wall of the abdominal cavity.
In particular, one of the tasks of the duodenum is to neutralize the chyme acidified in the stomach. The anatomical structure can be affected by various diseases, which are manifested in various symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract. One such disease is the duodenal tumor. In principle, this term is an umbrella term for all tumors of the duodenum.
Benign tumors are less common in the duodenum than malignant tumors. The benign duodenal ulcer, which affects around two percent of the population, must be distinguished from duodenal tumors. Duodenal tumors count among the small intestine tumors and are discussed in summary under the clinical picture of small intestine cancer. Colon cancer has a much higher prevalence than small bowel and duodenal cancer.
Various factors play a causal role in duodenal tumors. The exact causes of small bowel cancer are largely unexplained, but one of the risk factors for small bowel tumors is contact with harmful food or substances in the diet. Certain diseases of the intestine are also counted among the risk factors.
As a result, patients with previous illnesses such as the chronic inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease have an increased risk of developing a small bowel tumor. Also the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is classified as a risk factor. Since the syndrome has a hereditary basis, genetic risk factors can be used in this context.
The small intestine tumors associated with the syndrome are usually benign, but may degenerate and in this way turn into a malignant cancer of the duodenum. There is also an increased risk of small bowel cancer for patients with familial polyposis. These hereditary diseases lead to benign polyp formation in the area of the small intestine including the duodenum, whereby there is also a risk of degeneration in this context.
Symptoms, ailments & signs
Patients with duodenal tumors have benign or malignant tumors in the duodenum. Malignant duodenal tumors are rare, but are still more common in the duodenum than benign variants. Carcinomas usually develop in the context of familial adenomatous polyposis. Sarcomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumors are also conceivable forms.
Benign tumors of the duodenum are either Brunneria originating in the Brunner glands or lipomas, adenomas, myomas and gastrinomas in the context of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Most duodenal tumors only cause symptoms in the late stages. Most of the symptoms are gastrointestinal bleeding, which can result in tarry stools.
In the context of duodenal cancer, strictures and stenoses can occur, which cause the patient more or less pain. Symptoms such as nausea or excessive bloating can also be relevant to the diagnosis. The same applies to symptoms such as vomiting. In the course of the disease, what is known as ileus can occur in extreme cases. This intestinal obstruction is a life-threatening complication and requires immediate intervention.
Diagnosis & course
The suspected diagnosis of a duodenal tumor is based on the medical history and the initial physical examination. Some tumors of the duodenum can be felt on slender people through the creek cover. To confirm the diagnosis, x-ray examinations with contrast media, ultrasound, laparoscopy, computed tomography, magnetic resonance tomography or gastrointestinal reflections are carried out.
In addition, a biopsy of the tumors is arranged as part of the diagnosis in order to obtain information on the degree of malignancy of the growths. The prognosis for patients with duodenal cancer depends on the malignancy of the tumor. In addition, the time of diagnosis and the presence of complications play a decisive role in the prognosis.
In most cases, the duodenal tumor is removed by surgery so that the patient does not experience any further symptoms or complications. The further development of the disease depends heavily on the type and spread of the tumor. The affected person suffers from complaints in the stomach and abdominal region.
Diarrhea and vomiting occur. It is not uncommon for flatulence and a permanent feeling of fullness to occur. The quality of life of the patient is greatly reduced by the duodenal tumor. In the worst case, this can lead to a complete intestinal obstruction if the tumor is not treated.
This can also be fatal for the patient. Since diagnosis can be made relatively easily, early treatment is also possible. If the tumor is benign, it does not necessarily have to be removed. This is especially true when the patient does not complain of any complaints. Usually, a benign tumor is only recognized by chance.
In the case of a malignant tumor, surgery must be carried out. Afterwards, the affected person often has to undergo radiation therapy in order to avoid consequential damage and complications. With early and correct treatment, there will be no further complications and life expectancy will not be reduced.
When should you go to the doctor?
Since duodenal tumors only cause symptoms in their late stages, early diagnosis of the disease is difficult. It is therefore advisable to go to colon cancer screening regularly – this is especially important in the elderly and if there are any risk factors.
In addition, a doctor should be consulted if suddenly severe pain, a feeling of pressure in the lower stomach area, or a feeling of excessive bloating occurs. As the disease progresses, symptoms such as vomiting and a general feeling of illness may appear, which must also be clarified quickly.
If there are signs of an intestinal obstruction, the emergency doctor must be called in immediately. In the case of severe circulatory problems up to circulatory collapse, first aid must also be provided until the doctor arrives. Depending on how far the duodenal tumor has progressed, a longer hospital stay may be necessary.
Those affected should also speak to a nutritionist, as the symptoms are often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. However, only the doctor in charge can answer the detailed measures that make sense.
Treatment & Therapy
Duodenal tumors are ideally treated causally. This means that the symptoms are addressed by their cause. Benign tumors of the duodenum do not necessarily have to be removed. However, there is an indication for an invasive surgical treatment method as soon as complications such as bleeding or constriction arise.
Patients with benign duodenal tumors are usually observed before such complications occur. As a rule, benign cancers of the duodenum do not pose a life-threatening risk. Nonetheless, regular check-ups are indicated in order to detect possible degeneration of the tumors as early as possible.
Malignant duodenal tumors require surgical intervention as soon as possible. In addition to surgical removal of the tumor, options such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy are available for treatment. In most cases, these measures accompany the operational steps. Surgical intervention is usually always sought in malignant tumors.
The removal of the entire section of the intestine affected by the tumor, including a centimeter-long safety distance, is indicated as part of the operation. The supportive radiation therapy acts directly on the tumor region. Unlike radiation therapy, chemotherapy also counteracts scattered and dragged cancer cells.
Since duodenal tumors cause pain to a greater or lesser extent in many cases, supportive therapy for pain relief for the patient is also an option in individual cases. This measure focuses on increasing the quality of life. Conservative drug therapies with painkillers should be considered as pain therapeutics, for example the administration of morphine in the case of severe pain.
Outlook & forecast
The prognosis of the duodenal tumor depends in particular on whether it is a benign or malignant tumor. The best prognosis is given to patients with an early stage benign tumor. If there are no further complaints, treatment does not necessarily have to be initiated. The patient is asked to participate in check-ups and to consult a doctor if symptoms occur.
If growth or other changes in the duodenal tumor are noticed in the further course, treatment is given. If the values remain constant, the patient can lead a good and normal life with the tumor for the rest of their life. Larger benign duodenal tumors that lead to further symptoms are removed in a surgical procedure. The patient then normally recovers within a short period of time.
The good prognosis changes with malignant tissue changes. The larger the diagnosed tumor and the older the affected person, the less favorable the chances of recovery. The bowel function is impaired and can lead to organ failure.
This represents a life-threatening condition. In the worst case, cancer cells detach from the tumor and are transported to other locations in the organism via the blood. Metastases can form there and new cancers develop. This increases the risk of a shortened life expectancy.
The causes of duodenal tumors have not yet been conclusively clarified. Hereditary causes are obvious and have been documented for different risk factors of the phenomenon. Due to the presumably genetic disposition, the duodenal tumor can hardly be prevented other than through genetic counseling in the family planning phase.
In the case of a duodenal tumor, follow-up measures are severely limited in most cases. First and foremost, this tumor must be detected relatively early so that it cannot spread and so that there are no further complications and complaints. In general, an early diagnosis always has a positive effect on the further course of the tumor and can prevent further complications.
The earlier the tumor is detected, the better the further course will usually be. Even after the duodenal tumor has been successfully removed, regular intestinal examinations should be carried out in order to identify and remove other diseases and other tumors. Since the duodenal tumor is usually treated by a surgical procedure, the person affected should definitely rest after such an operation and take care of the body.
Those affected are mostly dependent on the help and support of friends and relatives, whereby psychological support is also very important. A healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet can also alleviate the symptoms. In most cases, a duodenal tumor will reduce the person’s life expectancy.
You can do that yourself
A tumor in the duodenum is often benign, but the disorder should definitely be taken seriously. As soon as the affected person observes symptoms, a doctor must be consulted immediately. Treatment usually consists of surgical removal of the tumor. The patient cannot help himself here. But he can take preventive measures.
Unless the ulcer is surgically removed, it is necessary to monitor the disorder, as a benign tumor can also become malignant. The patient’s chances of survival then strongly depend on how early this change is noticed and treated.
The preventive medical check-ups recommended by the attending physician should therefore be strictly observed. If new symptoms appear, these should never be played down, but always consulted the doctor immediately. Even if the tumor is not malignant, delayed treatment can lead to significant complications, such as bowel obstruction.
A malignant duodenal tumor usually requires radiation or chemotherapy in addition to surgery. The latter in particular is often associated with extremely stressful side effects. However, patients are not allowed to cancel this on their own. If the cancer comes back to life, the patient’s life is regularly in danger.
Colon tumors can also often be positively influenced by a change in diet. Those affected should seek support from a nutritionist in developing a disease-specific diet.