Bowel cancer is a general term for any cancer which develops in the bowel. The disease is sometimes referred to as colorectal or colon cancer. The early warning signs of bowel differ slightly when it comes to small bowel cancer and experiencing any of these gastrointestinal issues could be a sign.
What is small bowel cancer?
The National Cancer Institute said: “Small intestine cancer is a rare disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the small intestine.
“The small intestine is part of the body’s digestive system, which also includes the oesophagus, stomach and large intestine.
“The digestive system removes and processes nutrients from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body.
“The small intestine is a long tube that connects the stomach to the large intestine and folds many times to fit inside the abdomen.
“The types of cancer found in the small intestine are adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, carcinoid tumours, gastrointestinal stromal tumour and lymphoma.”
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People with small bowel cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs said Cancer.Net.
The health site continued: “Sometimes, people with small bowel cancer do not have any of these changes.
“Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.”
Signs of small bowel cancer include:
· Blood in the stool (faeces)
· Dark/black stools
· A lump in the abdomen
· Pain or cramps in the abdomen
· Unexplained weight loss
· Episodes of abdominal pain that may be accompanied by severe nausea or vomiting.
Cancer.Net added: “If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor.
“Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom, in addition to other questions.
“This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.
“If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment.
“This may be called palliative care or supportive care.
“Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.“
Surgery is usually the main treatment for bowel cancer, and may be combined with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological treatments, depending on your particular case.
If it’s detected early enough, treatment can cure bowel cancer and stop it from coming back.
If you are experiencing gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting or nausea, it’s important to speak to your GP about the possible cause.
Nausea and vomiting could be caused by a variety of different ailments other than small bowel cancer.