This complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) information summary provides an overview of the use of milk thistle as a treatment and adjunct agent for people with cancer.
The summary includes a brief history of milk thistle, a review of the laboratory studies and clinical trials, and a description of adverse effects associated with milk thistle use.
This summary contains the following key information:
Milk thistle is a plant whose fruit and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years...
Adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, sarcoma, and carcinoid tumors account for the majority of small intestine malignancies, which, as a whole, account for only 1% to 2% of all gastrointestinal malignancies.[2,3,4,5]
Follow-up and Survivorship
As in other gastrointestinal malignancies, the predominant modality of treatment is surgery when resection is possible, and cure relates to the ability to completely resect the cancer. The overall 5-year survival rate for resectable adenocarcinoma is only 20%. The 5-year survival rate for resectable leiomyosarcoma, the most common primary sarcoma of the small intestine, is approximately 50%.
Carcinoid tumors of the small intestine are covered elsewhere as a separate cancer entity. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor Treatment for more information.)
American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2014. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2014. Available online. Last accessed May 21, 2014.
Zureikat AH, Heller MT, Zeh HJ III: Cancer of the small intestine. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 1048-59.
Serour F, Dona G, Birkenfeld S, et al.: Primary neoplasms of the small bowel. J Surg Oncol 49 (1): 29-34, 1992.
Matsuo S, Eto T, Tsunoda T, et al.: Small bowel tumors: an analysis of tumor-like lesions, benign and malignant neoplasms. Eur J Surg Oncol 20 (1): 47-51, 1994.
Chow JS, Chen CC, Ahsan H, et al.: A population-based study of the incidence of malignant small bowel tumours: SEER, 1973-1990. Int J Epidemiol 25 (4): 722-8, 1996.
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Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute
May 28, 2015
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