Despite the fact that the small bowel constitutes about 75% of the length of the gastrointestinal tract, small bowel tumours account for only 1-3% of all gastrointestinal malignancies. Rapid transit of its liquid contents might be one explanation. Increased incidence is noticed in immunocompromised patients e.g. AIDS, chronic immuno-suppressant therapy.

Frequent consumption of red meat or smoked foods has been associated with a two- to three-fold increased risk of small bowel tumours. There is also a correlation between dietary fat intake and risk of small bowel carcinoma. Crohn's disease is associated with an increased risk of small bowel malignancies.

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