Duodenal cancer: Compare Costs for a treatment abroad

Duodenum cancer develops in the beginning sector of the small intestine. It is more rare than other cancer types of digestive system. Duodenum cancer is also called duodenal cancer. Duodenum cancer is named after duodenum, which is beginning section of the small intestine. It is located right after the stomach, so the processed food is mixed in this part of digestive system with bile, before it goes further to the intestine. Bile helps food digest faster. Because this cancer is so rare and it has not been researched enough yet, it is very difficult to diagnose and choose the right type of treatment. Usually during the first stages patient experiences no pain. There is only feeling of general intoxication and heaviness in the stomach.  

Duodenal cancer as a matter of fact appears after 55 years of age. It is equally common for men and women. There were only unusual cases of duodenum cancer among young people.

Most well-known duodenum cancer symptoms are:

  1. cramps
  2. severe pain in the abdomen
  3. nausea
  4. dizziness
  5. sudden loss of weight
  6. blood during defecation
  7. constant taste of acid in the mouth
  8. heaviness in the upper abdomen
  9. depression
  10. daytime sleepiness
  11. insomnia at night
  12. cachexia
  13. paleness
  14. yellow skin
  15. dryness in the mouth, nose and eyes.
  16. increased body temperature 39 ° C
  17. sweating (especially at night)

Jaundice is probably the most common duodenum cancer symptom and it usually appears in 90% of cases. The reason for that is that the bile, which is responsible for digestion, retains in the body, and the skin gradually accumulated the color of yellow. Usually jaundice develops over the course of several months. After that not only the skin gets yellow, but also the whites of the eyes and urine change color.  As tumor progresses the skin may acquire the greenish color which is an indicator of the pathology. Jaundice is very often followed by severe itching of the skin. This itching may become so unbearable, that person is unable to sleep at night, as it affects the central nervous system. Patient becomes overly agitated, suffers from chronic insomnia and over time develops depression. Itching can not be alleviated by painkillers or other usual methods. It can appear in particular parts of the body or simply develop suddenly almost everywhere. Usually the patients scratch themselves to the point of bloody marks, which can later turn into permanent scars.

 Pain also brings much discomfort. It usually originates in the epigastric area, but it may spread to adjacent organs. The level of pain is different for every patient and some of them do not even have it, while others experience extremely unpleasant sensations. In most cases patients complain of the stabbing pain close to the stomach.

Causes of duodenal cancer

It is very difficult to understand cause of gastrointestinal cancer. The most obvious one is the genetic predisposition. If a family member had any type of gastrointestinal tumor, the chances that children develop it are very high.

Risk factors that could influence the appearance of neoplastic cells are as follows:

  1. long-term smoking
  2. poor diet habits
  3. Crohn`s disease
  4. exposure to radiation
  5. Lynch syndrome
  6. viruses
  7. diabete
  8. alcoholism;
  9. high level of cholestorol in the blood           
  10. cholelithiasis;
  11. excessive consumption of fat and meat products
  12. constant consumption of strong black coffee

It must also be added that meat does not present risk, while animal fat has an a specially negative impact on the pancreas. Also the state of pancreas can be deteriorated by the use of nicotine and caffeine, while such alcohol as red wine in small doses is only beneficial.

Duodenum cancer diagnosis   

First of all doctor examines medical history of the patient and investigates if there is a pain in the upper abdomen, belching and increased number of lymph nodes. All patients with  Crohn's disease are required to undergo a more detailed examination, because almost half of the duodenum cancer cases originate after a patient had a Crohn`s disease. In order to assess stomach and duodenum doctors usually use endoscopy, a diagnostic procedure, during which special optical instrument (endoscope) is inserted into the stomach. Biopsy is in most cases a mandatory diagnostic measure for patients who have all duodenum cancer symptoms. In order to determine the structure of tissues and cells doctor takes a little part of the small intestine.

In some cases X-Ray may show if there is any tumor growth. In order to see if there are metastases in the liver and pancreas which spread from the abdominal cavity doctors use ultrasound. Computed tomography helps to understand the actual size of the tumor and determine its stage. Diagnosis is usually carried out by a gastroenterologist.

Duodenum cancer treatment

Almost all cases of duodenal cancer require surgery. Standard surgery for duodenum cancer is a resection, when the surgeon removes lymph nodes, which are located close to the duodenum.

If the size of the malignant tumor is no more than 0.5-1 cm doctors may apply non-radical surgery by removing of duodenum. Usually before such surgery patients undergo course of radioactive intervention to reduce the size of the tumor and make it more susceptible to surgery.  5-year survival rate after such operation ranges from 17 to 67% and success depends on the personal ability of patient`s body to resist the affect of neoplastic cells in future.

Surgical treatment is possible for people who are under 75 years. It is also impossible to do surgery if metastases spread to distant organs. There are several types of surgical duodenum cancer treatment:

  1. removal of part of pancreas of bowel.This type of resection can be performed only during the early stages
  2. circular resection - removal of the affected area, followed by restoration of function
  3. connection of two parts of the intestine

In some cases, transplantation of healthy part of the liver into the intestine allows person return to normal life

Chemotherapy. Drugs aim to destruct the tumor cells. Chemotherapy stops or at least slows the growth of cancer cells that rapidly divide and grow further.

Radiation therapy. Basically, it is used in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgical treatment.

Studies show that chemotherapy and radiation therapy for this kind of cancer are ineffective and they are usually used only to reduce tumor size and to prevent further relapse. It may also help to stop the development of metastases in the liver.

Duodenum cancer prevention

  1. no drinking and smoking
  2. rational and balanced diet
  3. no salty, fried, smoked, pickled foods
  4. fresh fruit and vegetables
  5. regular check up with doctors
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location_onCountry: Germany
location_searchingCity: Essen

Alfried Krupp Hospital in Essen-Ruettenscheid

The main treatment areas of the Department of Internal Medicine I, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Budde, are invasive and non-invasive cardiac diagnostics and therapy of all cardiac diseases.

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location_onCountry: Germany
location_searchingCity: Essen

Alfried Krupp Hospital in Essen-Ruettenscheid

The main treatment areas of the Department of Internal Medicine I, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Budde, are invasive and non-invasive cardiac diagnostics and therapy of all cardiac diseases.

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