Small bowel tumours, both benign and malignant, are exceedingly unusual, and constitute less than 10% of all gastrointestinal tumours; and approximately 65% of all small bowel tumours are malignant. More than 35 pathological variants have been described. Most common are adenocarcinomas that constitute 40% of all malignant small bowel tumours. Carcinoid tumours represent 30% of all small bowel malignancies. Other forms of tumours are lymphomas, sarcomas, as well as benign tumours such as leiomyomas, angiomas and lipomas.

The incidence of small bowel tumours is 0.4-1.0/100 000 population with a slight male predominance. The prevalence increases with age and is rare below 30 years of age, peaking between 50-60 years. Occasionally, small bowel tumours are related to the Peutz-Jegher' syndrome or von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis. Metastases from melanoma may be found in the small bowel.

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