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Thread: Upper left abdominal pain

  1. #1
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    Upper left abdominal pain

    Hi,

    I am new here so I would like to say hello to everybody.

    I have had an increasing upper left abdominal pain for the last 6 weeks. I am scheduled to have CT on 28/02. Although I am experiencing other symptoms like constipation/diaree, light-headness, it is the pain that really bothers me. It is not a cramping pain during BM, but a dull and continuous one, right below my left rib cage, occasionally migrating to the back. It is more pernounced at night downgrading to discomfort during the day. I wake up numerous times and it is difficult to fall back to sleep. This causes that I am very sleepy and tired during the day.

    I am assuming that this pain could be indicative of CRC.

    Did anyone experience similar pain prior to diagnosis? Does anybody know what I could do so that this pain becames smaller allowing me to sleep at night?
    Paracet? Herbs?

    I am also considering going to ER if this pain bocomes stronger and keeps waking destroying my sleep.

    greetings,
    Przemek

  2. #2
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    Hi premo, the pain could be any number of things. What has your dr said? If the pain does continue it might be a good idea to go to emergency room. Get some help, seeing a dr would be a start.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Przemek,
    Welcome but sorry you need to post here.
    As Mojo said it could be caused by a number of things, however as you say you have had changes in bowel movements then it's best to have a thorough examination.
    Normally for CRC they will carry out blood tests, however this test can be unreliable.
    Ask your doctor for a occult blood test kit, this indicates microscopic amounts of blood in the stools.
    The normal procedure is a colonoscopy, this will reveal if there are any problems in the colon.
    If the colonoscopy does reveal any problem and I hope it doesn't reveal anything, then this would normally be followed up by a CT scan.

    Is the pain you talk about left side directly under the rib cage and does it go down the left side towards your groin ?.
    It's better to talk to a doctor about pain medication as some can cause constipation which if you do have a bowel problem is not what you want.
    However paracetamol does help with moderate pain control.
    Before I was diagnosed I had want you describe as a dull ache under the ribs and down the left side towards the groin.
    You are doing the right thing by being proactive and getting tests done.
    I hope it all turns out well and you don't need to join us as a member.
    Best wishes
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    6 months after feeling great.
    Recent PET scan indicates no recurrence.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear.
    Check CT scans for both CRC and for surgery. All clear
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh
    DEXA scan clear, Endoscopy all clear.
    CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    28/10 Thallium scan. More radioisotopes and 1 hour scan.
    Symptom recurrence, hard and painful Inguinal lymph nodes, referred back to CRC team for investigation 24/03/14
    Recurrence confirmed, but appears localised. Upcoming surgery again.

  4. #4
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    @mojo & @Baz10
    I appreciate your kind answers. Thank you.

    Let me shed some more light. The pain appears to be fairly stationary under left rib, sometimes might wander to the right or to side and back, sometimes a little down but hardly crosses the navel line and below. It feels like it is also responsible for bringing about diarrhea or constipation. I do not feel any pain or cramps during BM. No visible blood.

    I had very similar pain twice. First in December 2010/January 2011 for a couple of weeks but it stopped and I felt normal afterwards. Next, in July/August 2011. Both times it was milder but in more or less the same location and causing similar symptoms (nausea, general run down feeling), less diaree and constipation. Could be, these bouts were unrelated to what I am having now.

    Visited my GI about 4 weeks ago and explained the problem. Blood tests came back ok (except for ALAT, little higher). GI ordered belly CT for 28/02. I did also stool test which, initially, I thought was aimed at checking for occluded blood. But when results came back, I realized it was a test for fecal calprotectin. Unfortunatelly, it came back positive (104 mg/kg, norm < 50). The same test in June 2011 resulted in 30 mg/kg (a little below positive level).

    So here it is. I am considering visiting emergency if the pain persists, especially at night. Maybe call the hospital and ask if CT could be performed earlier.

    What's up with this calprotectin beeing measured? Anybody ofyou in the forum had it measured due to your symptoms? If yes, how did it come up?

    regards,
    Przemek

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
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    bethel park pa
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    6,621
    I think you should contact the last doctor you seen and tell him things are not going away and explain the exact symptoms your having and say you dont feel you should wait what does he/she suggest. go from there
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Premo,
    Interesting now that you have explained more.
    I'm not medically qualified but what I know about a calprotectin test in the higher percentages it seems to be a key indicator of digestive, bowel or gastrointestinal inflammation caused by A bacterial infection Or IBS or ulcerative colitis or something similar.
    There are some digestive or bowel problems that mimic classic CRC symptoms so your GI in ordering a CT scan is pursuing a good course as the results should provide the information they need to formulate a treatment plan.
    I'm not saying you have CRC but from what you have said it seems more likely to be something other than CRC that your doctor suspects.
    Given Norway has a superb health system, if the pain persists or gets worse then please go to emergency as they will fully investigate and probably give you a CT or MRI whilst you are there.
    Wish you all the best for a good outcome and please keep us updated
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    6 months after feeling great.
    Recent PET scan indicates no recurrence.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear.
    Check CT scans for both CRC and for surgery. All clear
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh
    DEXA scan clear, Endoscopy all clear.
    CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    28/10 Thallium scan. More radioisotopes and 1 hour scan.
    Symptom recurrence, hard and painful Inguinal lymph nodes, referred back to CRC team for investigation 24/03/14
    Recurrence confirmed, but appears localised. Upcoming surgery again.

  7. #7
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4
    I still have little diaree or little constipation (could be stress). I am still experiencing the pain/discomfort under left rib. However, in the last couple of days, I had in addition pain episodes more in the midsection of my abdomen lasting a couple of hours each night. Could it be that when lying I apply some pressure on the belly triggering it, do not know. When I get up in the morning and "up and running" this pain usually disappears, the "basis" upper left one persists.
    Since my last post, I visited 2 different Drs. Both were knocking on my belly with their fingers, listening with stetoscope, pressing everywhere and said that could not hear or feel anything. Yesterday's round of blood test came back ok. Alat, asat, bilirubin, GT, pankr. amylase, glucose and SR all within limits. This could be consided an improvement () because 4 weeks ago my alat was slightly elevated above the limit.
    There was also test for CRP which indicated <5, limit being from 0-10.
    I have read a little bit on CRP and it seems that it could be to some degree indicative of inflammatory processes in GI tract, including the presence of colorectal cancer. However, couldn't find anything that would say if values in normal range would disprove its existence. Did any of you had CRP level measured before or after cancer diagnosis? What were the values? How about with other blood tests? Is there a tendency that blood results may diverge from normal values before positive diagnosis or they are immaterial?

    mvh. Przemek

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Location
    UK
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    Premo,
    Well seems that your proactive and listening to what your body is telling you and getting something done.
    2 ways to approach this, get a colonoscopy done which will show anything nasty that's lurking inside the colon and bowel, including IBS and diverticulitis to name but 2 conditions.
    Second
    Get either a CT scan done or MRI.
    Blood tests are useful but they don't necessarily give a accurate indication.
    My view for what it's worth is don't use the Internet to try and self diagnose until you have a confirmed diagnosis then you can be more specific in your research.
    As Didee often says Dr. Google can't diagnose you and frankly you just may add to your worris for nothing.
    Can't add anything more on what you have said apart from get the colonoscopy arranged as a first step, this will rule in or out anything wrong with your colon and bowel.
    Best of luck and please keep us posted.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    6 months after feeling great.
    Recent PET scan indicates no recurrence.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear.
    Check CT scans for both CRC and for surgery. All clear
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh
    DEXA scan clear, Endoscopy all clear.
    CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    28/10 Thallium scan. More radioisotopes and 1 hour scan.
    Symptom recurrence, hard and painful Inguinal lymph nodes, referred back to CRC team for investigation 24/03/14
    Recurrence confirmed, but appears localised. Upcoming surgery again.

  9. #9
    Senior User swisecar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    410
    All of my blood work was normal for the 5 months before my diagnosis. CT scans do not "see" inside the bowels so well, so a colonoscopy is needed to determine what, if anything, is going wrong with the bowel. Your recurring pain needs to be addressed. The colonoscopy will allow a diagnosis of any bowel problem. If the problem is not with your bowel, then the colonoscopy will also allow the doctor to eliminate those diseases and move on to another probable diagnosis.

    All the best,

    Sarah
    May 1988 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2 yrs chemo & radiation)
    Sept 2009 papillary thyroid cancer (thyroid removal & radioactive iodine)
    Sept 2009 colon cancer stage IIIC (removal of sigmoid colon & resection)
    Oct 2009-May 2010 FOLFOX6
    July 2010 stage IV colon cancer, irinotecan & avastin
    Dec 2010-July 2011 avastin maintenance
    Sept 2011 tumor removal involving small bowel resections
    Nov 2011-April 2012 resume irinotecan
    May 29 2012 begin radiation treatments 15 total
    current age: 28

  10. #10
    Newbie New User
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    Feb 2012
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
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    Hello and thank you for your very kind responses.

    I have received results of an abdominal CT conducted 2 days ago. It is negative, nothing wrong has been found. However, I will still undergo colonoscopy next week. I will keep you posted.

    I would like to express my sincere admiration for all of you coping with this horrible disease as well as for all caretakers. I keep your stories close to my heart and wish you best of luck and love.

    Przemek

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Top User
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    UK
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    Premo,
    Great that the CT scan was clean, which must be a huge relief.
    At least every test and procedure so far being clear is a really positive indicator.
    I hope that the colonoscopy wil also reveal nothing, I'm sure it will be given everything so far is "clean".
    Best of luck and keep us posted on how you get on.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    6 months after feeling great.
    Recent PET scan indicates no recurrence.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear.
    Check CT scans for both CRC and for surgery. All clear
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh
    DEXA scan clear, Endoscopy all clear.
    CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    28/10 Thallium scan. More radioisotopes and 1 hour scan.
    Symptom recurrence, hard and painful Inguinal lymph nodes, referred back to CRC team for investigation 24/03/14
    Recurrence confirmed, but appears localised. Upcoming surgery again.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Top User sheila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    bethel park pa
    Posts
    6,621
    Thats wonderfull premo- your very fortunate so far.
    MOMS Journey
    April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
    oxyplatin,5fu
    Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
    oxyplatin,transfusion.
    April 07-xeloda-overdose
    surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
    port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
    picc line,5fu,oxyplatin,camptosar.
    Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
    transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
    oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
    xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
    april10-remission-avistan
    oct-10-erbitux,camptosar
    Jan-11-5fu
    mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
    Aug-11-erbitux,camptosar.
    dec-28-blood transfusion
    dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
    Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
    feb16-transfusion
    feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
    march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
    june/15/12-blood transfusion
    starting a regimine of celebrex
    aug/16/12-blood transfusion
    aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
    sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
    oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
    Nov/22/12-blood transfusion
    dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
    Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
    Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
    mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
    mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
    april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
    swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
    may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
    june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
    june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
    june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
    june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
    july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
    july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
    sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
    scan results fracture in spine mid back
    sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
    nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
    nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
    nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.

  13. #13
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    1
    Hi. Did anything ever come from the colonoscopy. I know it was some time ago but I am here with a very similar story. I have the left side ache and what at times I describe as pin point aches 2 inches left of belly button then in random areas between this point and below left rib cage. Seems to come and go but more recently is a constant.

    For 2 weeks I have been passing blood and mucus with lots of rumbling tummy sounds. This is mixed with stool but sometimes I have a bowel movement and it is only pink mucus - say a few tablespoons worth. last week i had full blood count, stool was tested for infection and had inflammation blood tests all came back normal.

    Been having problems for 2 years now stomach aches, upsets first thing in morning and sometimes just randomly. Also developed random nausea, falling over/fainting sensations. Anxiety. Had 4 other occasions of bright bleeding with ache when large long stools come out. Over this period I've had numerous blood tests and sonography scans - all normal. Only test that has come back positive was a sorbitol malabsorbtion one. Have now developed health anxiety/fear.

    Did anyone hear have similar symptoms? Can anyone share any stories I am trying to keep it together here but I live in fear.

    Additional info:
    - Was 10 yr daily drinker now t total for one
    - I'm still a smoker, working on that one
    - had brochopneumonia in January 2013 lower left lung, antibiotics cleared it up and was confirmed by CT. since then I've had 2 viruses and issues with fatigue.
    - I have lost almost a stone from which I think is due to stoping alcohol and playing more football however I have thinner arms, waist and a jawline like I was 18 again. I'm 35 now and not looked like this for over a decade. Weight has been stable for a year now.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Top User
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    Location
    UK
    Posts
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    Smithers,
    Sorry your having these problems, however welcome to the forum.
    Having read this thread, you will be aware that no on here can even suggest a diagnosis and it would be irresponsible of any of us to try.
    Guessing (which I know is not the best thing to attempt), in some part you have answered your own questions, stopping drinking and increased physical activity will normally and naturally reduce weight.
    Generally bright red blood indicates a lower GI problem, if it was dark it would be higher within the colon and digestive system.
    As with our previous responses to Premo, what you have could be a number of problems unrelated to CRC.
    Anxiety also affects your digestive process therefore your bowel habits change.
    My response is therefore the same as that to Premo, go and see your doctor.
    In the highly unlikely event you are diagnosed then we are here to provide help, support and advice as best as our limited knowledge allows.
    In the meanwhile get back to your doctor and follow the advice we all gave to Premo,
    Best of luck.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    6 months after feeling great.
    Recent PET scan indicates no recurrence.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear.
    Check CT scans for both CRC and for surgery. All clear
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh
    DEXA scan clear, Endoscopy all clear.
    CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    28/10 Thallium scan. More radioisotopes and 1 hour scan.
    Symptom recurrence, hard and painful Inguinal lymph nodes, referred back to CRC team for investigation 24/03/14
    Recurrence confirmed, but appears localised. Upcoming surgery again.

 
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