This section is from the book "Diseases Of The Intestines", by Max Einhorn. Also available from Amazon: Diseases Of The Intestines A Text-Book For Practitioners And Students Of Medicine.
Sarcoma of the intestine is a much rarer affection than cancer. According to Kundrat, 1 in the Wiener Allgemeine Krankenhaus between the years 1882 to 1893 there were 2,125 autopsies on cases of cancer. Of this number 243 were cancers of the intestines. In the same period of time there were 274 necropsies on patients with sarcoma, of which 3 were located in the intestines. Among 61 lympho-sarcomata 9 were in the intestines. On the whole the symptomatology of these malignant neoplasms coincides with that of cancer of the intestines. There are, however, a few points in which they differ from intestinal cancer.' While carcinoma is most frequently found in the lower portions of the large bowel, sarcoma shows a greater predilection for the small intestine and the upper portion of the large bowel. Thus, according to Nothnagel, among 9 cases of sarcoma of the intestines 1 was located in the duodenum, 3 in the jejunum, 3 in the ileum, and 2 in the caecum.
Sarcoma of the intestines shows very rapid progress, and metastases in other organs are very early found. The duration of life is much shorter than in cancer, being in most cases about but nine months. There is only one instance mentioned in literature in which a patient lived one and three-quarter years after the first appearance of symptoms. Symptoms of obstruction which are so frequently found in cancer of the intestines are very rarely if ever met with in sarcoma. The tumor as a rule extends over a large part of the intestines, but does not occlude the canal. Cachexia and anaemia belong to the early symptoms, and are much more pronounced than in cancer. The prognosis of this form of tumor of the intestines is absolutely fatal. Even in cases in which an operation is performed quite early, it is as a rule not of much benefit on account of the numerous metastases which develop so early; and on this account Madelung 1 even hesitates to advise surgical interference.
1 Kundrat Gerhardt's "Handbuch der Kinderkrankheiten, "Bd. iv., 2te Abtheilung, Tubingen, 1880.