Worried about cancer - Abdomen

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi all,

I'm Tom, 23, and I've had quite a worrying time recently. Cancer is a big thing in my family, and being a huge hypochondriac it's always the first thing that comes to mind when I get ill.

It started out as frequent urination (but no pain)  about a month and a half ago, they took a urine sample, and found a trace of blood, which was scary, they tested me again to be safe, prescribed me antibiotics. The test came back clear and there was no trace of blood present anymore, which was a relief. But basically in that time, I had this kind of dull pain/discomfort and popping sensation almost, just below my ribcage, where my liver is. I described this to the doctor and he put me through for routine blood tests.

The results came back, kidney function normal, white blood cell count perfectly normal, liver function normal, but an elevated liver enzyme (Not sure which). This immediately had my alarm bells ringing, because as soon as I started looking online (I apologise I know this is frowned upon) Cancer was the hot topic. Pancreatic, liver, gall. I instantly panicked. I got these results back on the 2nd October. I was referred to the local hospital for an ultrasound. In that time things kind of developed a bit. My stool has been on and off, some quite pale, some normal but greasy. The pain (In my upper right) had changed slightly, almost feels like burning almost, inflammation? The pain has also spread to the left hand side, and I've noticed my appetite has gone a bit weird.. I still feel hungry, but not as much.  Although, once I eat I can eat the normal amount. There's no nausea or vomiting, I don't have jaundice or any odd marks on my skin. Not sure about weightloss, as I've been running 3/4 times a week and eating healthier food. So it would be quite hard to see where the loss has come from. There's no heartburn,  It's basically the pain, and the appetite. 

I went for an ultrasound today, and the specialist there told me what he could see, as he could see how scared I was. He said that no abnormalities had shown up, which to me was a slight relief but not a complete one. I know Google is a huge no go for stuff like this, but afterwards my instant reaction was to google 'Elevated liver enzymes and pain, ultrasound clear' and there were some positive responses, and some scary ones, stories of people being told by their doctors they have IBS and all these different problems that are easy to deal with, and then a year later, they've got stage 4 cancer. 

 Nobody wants cancer, and I feel awful posting anything on here because I don't want to complain when there are people who are seriously ill, but there's always the possibility and I feel like I need help. My friends, family, girlfriend all think I'm overreacting and are telling me not to worry, which makes me feel worse, I know it shouldn't but it does. The worst part is as soon as you google any symptom, cancer is always the first thing that's mentioned. 

I do believe I have a seriously problem mentally when it comes to my health, but I'm genuinely worried about my physical health at the moment.

It's difficult to separate the symptoms. I suffer from really bad depression, so being tired all the time is a big thing for me. I also hardly sleep as I go to bed quite late, and get up early meaning I have no way of telling if the tiredness is from stress, my depression, or an actual issue. When it comes to my stomach, ever since the age of 13 I've had on and off issues with my abdomen, the doctor couldn't find an issue whenever I went, and he put it down to an 'inflamed appendix'. I had an incident when I was 18, where I had drank a ridiculous amount of alcohol, to the point where I was throwing up bile. After this, for about 4 months, I had constant problems with my stomach, really bad acid reflex, it was awful. This eventually passed. I've experienced loss of appetite in the past, but it was very different, I couldn't even look at food without wanting to be sick, but it's not felt like this. I can eat food, I can stomach it, I don't feel nauseous, it just feels odd?  Another problem is that I have a really severe vitamin D defiency. I've been quite silly recently and I've not taken them in a long long time.. I've been told that it can help with your digestion etc? Not sure how true that is. 

It's hard to know if some of it's psychological, if it's sevaral issues in my body that are causing all different kinds of symptoms, I really don't know. All I know is I'm scared, and even though I have quite nice results from the ultrasound, I don't feel convinced? You constantly hear of people being misdiagnosed, and I don't want to be one of those people. If it is something as severe as the worst.. I'd like a fighting chance. 

Thank you all for your time, I understand I may sound completely ridiculous. I just have no idea what it might be.

It's kind of interfering with my life, I think I've convinced myself of the worst, started losing track of my own life.. it's gotten out of hand really.

Apologies for the rant, and thank you to anybody who reads this and has felt the same in the past.

1 like, 4 replies

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    First of all....Big breath!

    Now, let's deal with your problems.

    One of the worst things of being anxious is being anxious about ones health. I have had several cancers and other illnesses and I know exactly what you are talking about. Is that twinge a new tumour? Is my bowel not good because they missed something? ..and so on.

    I have actually a lot of medical knowledge though as I had started studying to be a doctor a long time ago, and I can tell you even doctor's can react they way you and I do when they get ill!

    Ok, having said all that, let's talk about you.

    Take your Vitamin D! It DOES help with depression. This is a fact. It also works in the intestine by absorbing calcium (this is its main job in fact) and low calcium also leads to depression.

    Small amounts of blood in urine is actually quite normal, especially for men. Men who often masturbate will find some traces in their urine. Sometimes women will think their is blood in their urine but it is often from menstrual fluid. Sometimes a person is fighting a mild kidney infection and this can cause minor blood in the urine as well. When it is often or more red does one need to worry.

    Liver enzymes can be raised for many reasons, one of which is drinking alcohol. If you had a few drinks recently it can raise it. If you regularly drink it can raise it. Lupus can have raised liver enzymes but they are usually in the very high end not in the lower end of raised.

    Eating healthier food will change what you are used to seeing in your stool. If you chop and change your foods you will sometimes see greasy stools and other times normal. If you drink coffee you can have change in your bowels. Coffee can act as a means to make the bowel work faster and you will think you are passing more than usual.

    The time you drank too much alcohol when you were younger was alcohol poisoning. This can be life threatening:-at the time. Not after. You won't have done any serious damage except to a few minor brain cells and your wallet. (little joke there.)

    You should be healthily concerned but not overtly worried about any cancers that run in the family. Research has shown not all cancers actually run in families and some are due to environment, such as heavy drinking alot of the time, bad food choices, and not excersising. I think you are trying to do the right things, but Dr. Google is not your friend!

    SO rest assured you are doing ok, but you really need to take your Vit D (make sure it is D3) and keep off the booze ( a few drinks every now and then is ok) and continue to run and eat healthily.

    Step back and breathe deeply when you feel anxious again about anything and remember you are not in a hospital bed feeling terrible. Be very grateful of that.

    Cheers.

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  • Posted

    Bro,

    I'm right there with you. I've been worried about cancer for the past 2 months now. First, I thought a had Colon Cancer, then I thought I had Pancreatic Cancer, and then Lung Cancer, and sure enough after that I though I might possibly have Leukemia, and now I'm back to Pancreatic Cancer...

    This is all so stressful and I feel so anxious. Just today I started having an itch on my are and my mind goes straight to Jaundice(which is a symptom of Pancan) and I have some left rib pain that is mostly just a sharp pain every once in a while, and sometimes I feel it in my back.

    All this being said, I just want some sort of assurance that I'm fine. I've gone to the ER twice now because of my fear of Pancan. The first time I have an X-ray of my abdomen and I had my thyroid levels checks. Both came back normal. The second time I had a CT scan and more blood testing and urine testing. All of this has come back normal.

    Like Thomas said their are people who are actually fighting cancer and not just stressing over the possibility like me. I've watched my grandfather die of Pancan right in front of me 4 years ago, and it's not fun.

    If possible, can someone who has experience with abdominal cancers please help us to better understand the symptoms? Because I'm DONE using the internet to look up my symptoms. The Internet tells me I have cancer every time. After my CT scan I felt so good because I felt like the possibility of cancer was crushed by the scan. After a few hours I went back online for my itch and the Internet told me I have jaundice and that the CT scan lied to me... This is terrible. Cancer is terrible. Being axicous over something that might be nothing is terrible.

    Please help me.

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    • Posted

      It's not fun being anxious as I mentioned to Thomas earlier. The thing with worrying and Dr Google is that everything that we read seems to be us!

      You need to understand that the lists of symptoms on internet sites are just general ideas, not the total answer.

      The only way you can be truly tested for cancer is to have your blood drawn and ask for the specific cancer markers. There are many. Not all cancers can be seen by a CT scan. It may need contrast injected in a vein for them to be seen. Some are better seen on an MRI. But the better way is to get cancer markers tested.

      Sometimes it takes a while for a cancer to be seen. Cancer does not always look like it does on a movie or television show. Sometimes it is just starting out and makes hormones, or blood proteins, and this is what i mean by cancer markers. The list is very long and you will need to discuss with your doctor which ones you think you need. Pancreatic cancer has a specific marker CA19-9. You could ask for that one, and see if they think it worthwile to check for others.

      Sometimes just because a family member had a cancer and died, it doesn't mean we will get it. Sometimes it just is the way it is. Some cancers are not hereditary.

      Take precautions but do not stress over it. Cancer is terrible but fore armed is fore warned and being able to rule it out is the first step in achieving a healthy outlook on life.

      Enjoy life and try not to see cancer as you need to fear. Caught early it is normally treatable. Stressing about having it in the first place is only making time disappear and you not enjoying the time you have.

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  • Posted

    I have been having constant discomfort pain a few inches above my belly button for the last 7 months. The pain is there every day and comes and goes in waves, but is always there. My stomach is soft and nirmal in the morning and at the end if the day ut is rock hard and very bloated. My stools are a yellow, light colour as well. I am not losing any weight.

    ​Test I have had are, Full blood count (all clear) Stool hpylori test (all clear) Abdominal ultrasound of Spleen, Kidneys, Liver, Gallbladder, Pancreas, Bladder and the part (dont know what this area is called) from belly button to upper chest area. (all clear)

    Once I get the all clear from my test I felt great and went on holiday. When on holiday i got food poisioning or a virus and vomited and had watery stools for over 3 weeks. Since then I'm back in pain with my stomach and worried sick I av stomach cancer. I worry everyday and this is causing me depression.

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