Duodenal Cancer: It Can Be Beat

Cancer is a word that commands fear to a majority of the world’s population. And why should it not be dreaded? Although there have already been countless success stories of victorious people overcoming cancer, the very nature of cancer as being a traitor of a disease is still very prevalent. One moment it is completely gone because of various therapies, another moment, it reappears, much to the chagrin not only of the cancer victim but of family and friends as well.

Although there is already a critical mass of the world’s intellectual population focusing on various research and treatment for cancer, less strenuous and aggressive cancer treatments for the patients must still be discovered. While the more common types of cancer have seen advancements, developments in treating the more rare ones are wanting.

A rare type is duodenal cancer, which begins in the duodenum – the first part of our small intestine, between the jejunum and the stomach. This cancer is an uncommon variation of gastrointestinal cancer and is sometimes referred to as “small bowel cancer”. In reality, cancer can develop in any part of our gastrointestinal track, which includes the small bowel, the esophagus, and the stomach.

A person who has duodenal cancer will have great difficulty in having all the vitamins and nutrients s/he takes in to be absorbed and therefore utilized by the body. Why is this so? This happens because the duodenum is where the food that we take in goes to after it has already mixed with stomach fluid. In here, they further combine with digestive juices and bile, from the pancreas and gall bladders, respectively.

When you have this type of cancer, a cancerous mass prevents the food from reaching the small intestine. This, in turn, “wastes” the food with all the good vitamins and nutrients. And as a further result of this, the person will also have acid reflux accompanied by pain in the stomach area. A person suffering from duodenal cancer will also experience eventual loss of weight because s/he is no longer receiving proper nourishment and sustenance from the person’s food intake.

However, a person who experiences such symptoms must not necessarily assume that s/he has such a type of cancer as this is hard to diagnose and would need a series of tests. An example of a test done to a person suspected to have it is a physical check up to determine if there are noticeable lumps in the abdomen area. Another important step is to have the stool of the person checked to know if there is blood. These two, however, are the more superficial tests. Others include x-ray of the abdomen and CT scan, which would give a clearer picture of the possible affected area.

In terms of the available treatments available, there are a number that could be utilized including surgery. The type of treatment available for each patient would highly depend on a range of factors including present health conditions, cancer stage, and age.

Fighting cancer of the duodenum may be an uphill battle, but it can still be won, nonetheless.

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