Symptoms of small intestine cancer
Small intestine cancer is very rare. As a result, doctors often look for other causes of symptoms before they check for cancer in the small intestine. This cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms often appear if the tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs or if it blocks the small intestine. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as small intestine cancer.
See your doctor if you have these symptoms.
- pain in the abdomen (in some cases, pain comes on suddenly and is severe)
- weight loss
- bleeding from the bowel
- blood in the stool, or black, tarry stool
- fatigue and weakness, which may be caused by
In some cases, tumours in the small intestine can cause serious problems. These cancer-related emergencies need to be treated right away:
- a blockage in the intestine (called a bowel obstruction)
- a hole in the intestine (called a bowel perforation)
Expert review and references
American Cancer Society. Small Intestine Cancer. 2015: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003140-pdf.pdf.
Aparicio T, Zaanan A, Svrcek M, Laurent-Puig P, Carrere N, Manfredi S, Locher C, Afchain P . Small bowel adenocarcinoma: epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment . Digestive and Liver Disease . 2014 .
Arber N, Moshkowitz M . Small intestinal cancers. Jankowiski J, Hawk E (eds.). Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer. Wiley-Blackwell; 2013: 4: 67-85.
Chamberlain RS, Mahendraraj K, Shah SA . Cancer of the small bowel . DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA . Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology . 10th ed. Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ; 2015 : 54: 734-744 .
Overman MJ . Rare but real: management of small bowel adenocarcinoma . American Society of Clinical Oncology Educational Book . 2013 : https://ascopubs.org/toc/edbk/33.