Enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma (EATL) is a very rare form of intestinal cancer that affects T-cells. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that function as part of the body’s adaptive immune system. This type of cancer is most commonly seen in individuals with chronic or untreated celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine in which the body is unable to process gluten.
Symptoms of EATL include diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and rapid weight loss. This type of cancer is more common in those of European descent. If celiac disease is diagnosed with EATL, then the initial treatment will usually involve adaptation of a gluten-free diet. Additional treatment for the cancer will vary widely between individuals, but may involve a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and other mediations. Talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options and to find available support groups.