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Signs & Symptoms

Esophagus

Early esophageal cancer usually does not cause symptoms. However, as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:

  • Dysphagia
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest pain unrelated to eating
  • Pain (depending on location of tumor)
  • Cachexia
  • Malaise
  • Weight loss
  • Heartburn
  • Enlarged cervical lymph nodes
  • Vomiting blood

Stomach

Stomach cancer can be hard to find early. Often there are no symptoms in the early stages and, in many cases, the cancer has spread before it is found. When symptoms do occur, they are often so vague that the person ignores them. Stomach cancer can cause the following:

  • Dysphagia—difficulty swallowing
  • Indigestion or a burning sensation (heartburn)
  • Epigastric discomfort
  • Vomiting—due to obstruction
  • Discomfort or pain in the abdomen
  • Anorexia
  • Obstructive jaundice
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloating of the stomach after meals
  • Malignant ascites
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Bleeding (vomiting blood or having blood in the stool)
  • Weight loss

Small Intestine

Like most gastrointestinal cancers, early symptoms of small intestine cancer tend to be vague and nonspecific.

  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Obstructive symptom
  • Carcinoid syndrome—watery stools, diarrhea, flushing of skin, sudden drops in blood pressure, edema, ascites, bronchoconstrictive attacks