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Small Intestine Cancer

If a small intestine cancer diagnosis has touched you or someone you love, you may have questions. The renowned team of experts at the Abramson Cancer Center has extensive experience treating this rare cancer. You can trust us to offer exceptional expertise along with compassion and support as you navigate the next steps.

About Small Intestine Cancer

The small intestine connects the stomach to the large intestine. It is responsible for breaking down the food you eat to help your body absorb nutrients. Small intestine cancer (sometimes called small bowel cancer) is one of the less common cancers of the digestive tract.

Why Choose the Abramson Cancer Center for Small Intestine Cancer Care?

At Penn Medicine, a large team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and other specialists focuses solely on treating gastrointestinal cancers. Our team is committed to delivering exceptional cancer care that always puts you at the center of everything we do. We stay in close contact with you during your treatment and ensure you can reach us at any time through our easy-to-navigate patient portal, myPennMedicine.

When you choose us, you can expect:

  • Specialized expertise: Our doctors have completed in-depth fellowship training in the complexities of diagnosing and treating small intestine cancers. Many of our surgeons are leaders in GI cancer care, performing sophisticated surgeries to remove hard-to-treat tumors. Meet our GI cancer team.
  • Precise diagnosis: The most effective treatment starts with an accurate diagnosis. Our specialists are experts at detecting the signs of small intestine cancer. Specialized tests help our doctors understand how cancer cells may behave or impact your health, which informs our treatment recommendations. Learn more about GI cancer diagnosis.
  • Personalized treatment: Teams of specialists work side-by-side, reviewing your test results and analyzing treatment options. When we work together, you benefit from our collective expertise in surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. You can be sure you’ll get the treatment plan that’s right for you.
  • Support and guidance: Cancer treatment can be tough on your body, mind and soul. Our nurse navigators help you make appointments and provide support when you need it. We offer a full spectrum of resources, including counseling and meditation classes, to help you cope. Learn more about navigating GI cancer.
  • Expert care near you: Our specialists treat small intestine cancer at the esteemed Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in Philadelphia and satellite locations throughout the region.

Our Approach to Small Intestine Cancer Treatment: The Penn Medicine Advantage

Small intestine cancer cells often have unique characteristics and can act in unpredictable ways. We perform advanced genetic and molecular tests to understand more about every cancer and determine the right treatment plan.

Small intestine cancer treatment may include:

  • Surgery: Doctors often recommend surgery to remove the part of the small bowel affected by cancer. Our surgeons perform intricate procedures safely to remove hard-to-treat small intestine cancers. We always use the least invasive techniques possible to removing cancer while protecting healthy tissues.
  • Chemotherapy: Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy or other cancer-destroying medicines to treat remaining cancer cells after surgery. Chemo can also be used when surgery is not an option, such as for small intestine cancer that has metastasized (spread) to other organs.
  • Immunotherapy: These newer cancer drugs help your body’s immune system identify and attack cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy: These medications target specific changes in cancer cells that allow them to grow and spread. We use specialized tests to match you with therapies that are right for you. Some targeted therapies can effectively treat one type of small intestine cancer, called gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy damages cancer cells with intense X-ray beams to stop their uncontrolled growth. Ours is one of few centers in the country using a powerful, precise radiation therapy called proton therapy to treat advanced GI cancers.
  • Clinical trials: Penn’s expansive research program has a legacy of cancer treatment innovations. Your doctor may recommend a promising therapy still in clinical trials. Read about our GI cancer research.
  • Supportive care: Our spectrum of supportive therapies – from nutrition classes to financial counseling – tend to the wide-ranging impacts cancer can have on your life. Learn more about GI cancer support services.

Comprehensive Follow-up Care

A personalized follow-up care plan of periodic tests and check-ups with our team helps us detect a recurrence of cancer early. We can also help you manage any long-term side effects caused by cancer treatment, so you can enjoy the fullest quality of life.

Request an Appointment

Call 215-615-5858 to speak with a cancer center representative who can guide you to the right small intestine cancer expert for your needs. You can also request an appointment online.