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What are some bowel symptoms that may indicate lymphoma?

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Quick Answer

Some bowel symptoms that may indicate lymphoma including cramp-like pain in the abdomen, unexplained weight loss, rectal bleeding and severe constipation, says MUSC Digestive Disease Center. The patient may also have a blocked bowel or signs of malabsorption, which include bloating and gas as well as cramps, bulky or fatty stools, and muscle wasting, according to MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

The lymphoma can occur in the small intestine or in the colon, according to the World Journal of Gastroenterology. It is diagnosed by capsule endoscopy. This is actually a capsule fitted with a tiny camera that the patient swallows, says Mayo Clinic. It is about the size of a vitamin pill and takes many pictures as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract, including pictures of any tumors or polyps. The capsule is eventually passed in the stool and flushed away, while the recorder is returned to the patient's physician. The pictures are transmitted to a recorder the patient wears.

Bowel lymphoma is also diagnosed by CT scans and barium swallows, says the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The surgeon cuts out the diseased part of the intestine, and the patient is usually given powerful chemotherapy drugs. Radiation therapy is not very effective with bowel lymphoma, though it is used as a palliative treatment.

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