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Small intestine cancer

ICD-10 C17

¹ per 100,000 persons, age-standardised according to the old European standard population

* calculated using the period method for 2017 / 2018

Age-standardised incidence rate¹1.72.5
Age-standardised mortality rate¹0.40.6
5-year prevalence3,7594,913
10-year prevalence6,2547,567
Relative 5-year survival rate*60 %65 %
Relative 10-year survival rate*53 %57 %

About half of the malignant tumours of the small intestine are neuroendocrine tumours (NET), which are also found in other organs of the digestive tract, lungs or skin, albeit less frequently. Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) account for a good 10 percent of cases in the small intestine. In 2019, a total of approximately 2,733 people, including 1,184 women, were diagnosed with small intestine cancer in Germany.

In about seven out of ten people affected, the diagnosis is made at an advanced stage (UICC III/IV).

Distribution of UICC-stages at first diagnosis by sex, ICD-10 C17, Germany 2015–2016 (top: all cases; bottom: only valid reports). Source: © German Centre for Cancer Registry Data at the Robert Koch Institute Distribution of UICC-stages at first diagnosis by sex, ICD-10 C17, Germany 2015–2016 (top: all cases; bottom: only valid reports)

Similar to other European countries, both incidence and mortality rates have increased since 1999, with a slightly stronger increase for women.

Overall survival rates are slightly lower than for colorectal cancer, with 5-year survival rates for both GIST and NET being higher than for other malignant small intestine tumours.

Hereditary diseases increase the risk of disease

Little is known about risk factors for NET of the small intestine. Hereditary diseases such as Lynch syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, familial juvenile polyposis and cystic fibrosis as well as chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease) increase the risk of adenocarcinomas of the small intestine. Patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (von Recklinghausen’s disease) have an increased risk of gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST) of the small intestine. In addition, a small proportion of these tumours are due to a hereditary predisposition (familial GIST syndrome).

Date: 24.10.2022

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