Small intestinal malignancies are rare and may have a delayed presentation owing to insidious growth. We have reviewed the case notes of 25 patients presenting with primary small bowel tumours over a 10-year period. Abdominal pain, weight loss and vomiting were the most common symptoms. The median duration of symptoms was 6 months. Physical examination was normal in 24% of patients. An abdominal mass was present in 46% of cases. Emergency laparotomy was undertaken in 28% of patients. Lymphomas were identified in 72% and adenocarcinomas were present in 16%. The predominance of small bowel lymphoma is an unusual finding and may be related to the high incidence of coeliac disease in the region. The median survival in the lymphoma group was 36 months, which compares favourably with reported series.