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May 1957

Primary Tumors of the Small Bowel

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital, Northwestern University Medical School. and University of Illinois College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;74(5):709-718. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280110051008

The small intestine constitutes 75% of the alimentary tract and averages 22 ft. in length. For the area exposed, the small intestine enjoys as great an immunity from new growth as any part of the body. In contrast, the stomach and the colon, which precede and follow the small bowel, are the sites of more than 40% of all malignant growths. No satisfactory explanation has been found for the low incidence of new growth in this segment of the gastrointestinal tract. The most widely accepted hypothesis is that of the alkalinity of the bowel contents and the minimum of stasis and kinking in this segment of the bowel.1

The preoperative recognition of small bowel tumors parallels the development of roentgenology. During the past few years these lesions have aroused an increasing interest and are being recognized with greater frequency.2-7

In 19518 we reported a series of 16

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