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Signs and Symptoms of Intestinal Cancer

written by: DaniellaNicole • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 10/17/2010

Intestinal cancer symptoms can be attributed to other conditions and can occur independently or in conjunction with other symptoms. Learn about intestinal cancer, the symptoms of it and which ones should be checked by a doctor when they appear or persist.

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    About Intestinal Cancer

    Intestinal cancer is known by other names such as small intestine cancer, duodenal cancer, jejunal cancer, and ileal cancer.

    This form of cancer is rare, but the risk for it is higher in patients with celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and those who have a history of colonic polyps. Another high-risk factor is a diet that is high in fat.

    The following are some of the intestinal cancer symptoms patients may experience.

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    Abdominal Pain

    A patient with intestinal cancer may experience pain in the abdomen, particular after they have eaten. Though it can be attributed to other causes, this symptom is common with intestinal cancer and should be evaluated by a physician if it persists.

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    Cramps

    Along with abdominal pain, cramping may also occur following eating in patients with intestinal cancer. Like abdominal pain, if this symptom persists, it should be checked by a doctor.

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    Weakness

    Patients with this form of cancer can experience a feeling of weakness. The weakness can be accompanied with other symptoms, including an unexplained feeling of being tired or fatigued.

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    Fatigue

    This symptom can feel like a total lack of energy or as if all energy has been drained. The fatigue is not explained by other factors. This symptom can occur in conjunction with other symptoms such as weakness.

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    Weight Loss

    This symptom of intestinal cancer can occur in conjunction with vomiting or when no vomiting is present. The weight loss experienced by the patient is unexplained by other causes.

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    Lump

    If a lump forms in the abdomen, it can be sign of this form of cancer. Any lump or growth that forms should be evaluated by a physician. This symptom can also be a sign of other conditions.

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    Nausea

    When nausea occurs, it can be with other symptoms or on its own. The nausea will not be associated with other conditions such as pregnancy or flu. It is unexplained and can persist.

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    Vomiting

    Unexplained vomiting is a serious symptom that should be checked by a physician. It can be caused by a number of things, including intestinal cancer. Any patient that experiences vomiting is at risk for dehydration.

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    Loss of Appetite

    This can accompany the nausea and vomiting or be independent of them. This sign can contribute to the sign of weight loss or can not be present at all in a patient with weight loss. If this symptom persists, it should be checked by a doctor as not eating enough or properly can cause additional medical problems.

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    Jaundice

    Another one of the Intestinal cancer symptoms, jaundice can occur in patients with intestinal cancer. Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.

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    References

    Intestinal Cancer. Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Last Updated March 24, 2010. http://www.cancercenter.com/intestinal-cancer.htm

    Intestinal Cancer. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Last Reviewed June 21, 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/intestinalcancer.html