Why am i being referred to a specialist?

Posted , 2 users are following.

I hope people don't mind me asking this particular question on the forum but i just hope someone can reassure me.  I have been referred to a specialist by my GP because a cyst on my liver was found by chance (the scan i had was looking for possible gallstones).  Naturally, i am terrified it's cancer and can't get it out of my mind that this is the reason i am being referred.  My question is, is my referral due to the fact that the GP suspects cancer?  i do appreciate any answers please

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  • Posted

    Hi and always feel free to ask questions, it's the only way to learn.

     Your GP may be asking a specialist to check the cyst, as it is more than likely out of their expertise. Remember that cysts in the liver are very common, so don't jump to conclusions!

    GP's are not authorised in many clinics to ask for MRI's and only a specialist can do that. So in order to clarify that it is NOT cancer often an MRI is ordered and as I said, only a specialist can order that. If they are still in doubt they will in time, do a fine needle biospsy.

    Cysts can be anything from a tapeworm (eeeewww! LOL!) to benign fatty cysts, to cancer, but don't jump to conclusions!

    Expecting the worst will only give you grey hairs.


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    • Posted

      My father died of liver cancer so that is partly one of the reasons i flipped when i got this letter as i have not really thought about getting some sort of genetic testing but my father was 77 years old when he died, i may be wrong but the liklihood of it being genetic is if the parent dies fromt he disease at a much younger age.  I have since found out that, like you say, it is very common for liver cysts to be picked up by accident when you have a scan for something else ie in my case, i thought i had gallstones.   My partner thinks that the GP is basically trying to cover his back (and quite rightly so) as he is not the 'expert' and just wants to be on the safe side.  I suppose in a way it is good that this has been picked up so that now i know about it and hopefully it will not be anything serious.  I am waiting for some liver function blood test results to come through this week so i hope they come back OK.  I did go and have a chat with one of my GP's (there are several in the practice but i couldn't actually see the one who has referred me although i may make an appointment to see him and discuss this letter) but the one GP i did see last week has just said what we have already repeated and that she said if they had any concerns that it would be cancer, i would have been straight away.  All i can do is keep my fingers crossed.  Thanks for you taking the time to reply back to me.
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  • Posted

    what redwoodgirl said---do you have any risk factors for liver cancer?  Examples would be chronic hepatitis C or B, or cirrhosis of the liver, combined with fairly heavy or regular alcohol use.  People with these risk factors have a routine blood test called alpha feto protein.  That protein will be elevated where there is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which is primary liver cancer.  Even people with risk factors are not at high risk of getting liver cancer, but are just screened regularly to keep an eye on it, early detection can result in cure. Cysts are common and likely benign but would be good to observe. Probably the referral for further assessment is because it's just prudent to periodically check cysts to see if they change, but especially without risk factors, the likelihood is that you have a benign condition.  Why were you being screened for gall stones?  do you have some symptoms related to that? Were gallstones not found during the scan?
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    • Posted

      hello.  Basically, i have suffered from gastric reflux for about 12 years and up until a couple of months ago i started getting other symptoms ie dull mild like (stitch like) pain/discomfort under my right rib, radiating to the back with mild upper abdominal pain.   I had a scan last week and also an endoscopy.  The endoscopy revealed i have a hiatus hernia (which i could have had for years but has only just been picked up via the endoscopy) and the scan revealed no gallstones BUT this incidental cyst has been found on my liver, hence the referral by my GP to a specialist.  My referall date is for 8 weeks time, although it does state on the letter that this is provisional depending on the referral letter which my GP has to do (ie i am guessing that if i need to be seen sooner then my appointmemt date will be brought forward).  All i can do is sit and wait and hope that this cyst is not of concern.  My father was 77 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer so not sure if i need a genetic test, i suppose i could chat to my GP about this and like you point out, i could get regular annual tests to put my mind at ease.  Thanks for taking the time to reply back to me.
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