What is a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour of the Small Intestine?A gastrointestinal stromal tumour of the small intestine is a mesenchymal tumour i.e. it originates from the uncontrolled growth of soft tissue or cells of the small intestine. It is a common tumour usually small in size and difficult to detect and diagnose at the early stage of the disease through the endoscope. It commonly affects people between the ages of 40-70 years. It is equally common in both males and females.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause; however, the presence of certain hereditary and genetic syndromes such as familial GIST syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1and carney-stratakis syndrome can contribute to the development of a gastrointestinal stromal tumour of the small intestine.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain in the abdomen or discomfort
- Feeling of fullness after taking a few bites
- Palpable (felt able on touch) mass or tumour in the abdomen
- Constant feeling of fatigue
- Difficulty in breathing in advanced stages of the disease
- Distension of the abdomen
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Ultrasound (USG) of the abdomen
- Endoscopic examination of the anus, rectum, small intestine, and large intestine. Endoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to visualize the internal organs of the body directly through the endoscope.
- Computed tomography (CT-pelvis) helps to differentiate the types of cells involved in cancer
- Biopsy of the lesion/tumour and histopathological examination
- Barium Meal