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What are some signs of ampullary carcinoma?

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Quick Answer

Signs of ampullary carcinoma include jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain, fever and weight loss, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Some patients experience mild gastrointestinal bleeding, which may cause anemia. Other patients experience severe gastrointestinal bleeding, with symptoms such as blood in stool or black stool.

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Full Answer

Jaundice is one of the most common symptoms of ampullary carcinoma, states Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This is because the tumor, which is located in the ampulla of Vater, blocks the bile duct and prevents bile from getting to the intestines where it would have left the body through stool. This increases the level of bilirubin in the system, resulting in yellow skin and eyes, and dark yellow urine. Because ampullary cancer has such a noticeable symptom, it is easy to diagnose at an early stage.

About a third of ampullary cancer patients experience gastrointestinal bleeding, states Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Mild cases of gastrointestinal bleeding can cause iron deficiency anemia. Patients with severe gastrointestinal bleeding may notice blood in their stool.

Ampullary cancer patients may also experience pruritus, which is excessive itchiness of the skin, which may be due to jaundice, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center. Other potential symptoms include back pain, abdominal pain, stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.

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