Small Bowel Cancer: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

People with small bowel cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. 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. 

  • Blood in the stool (feces)

  • Dark/black stools

  • Diarrhea

  • 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

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(s), 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.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.