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Thread: I have a hard time imagining anything else

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    I have a hard time imagining anything else

    I'm 27, 5'10, very slightly overweight.

    In September 2018 I experienced chest pain, mostly on the left side of the chest, that resulted in an ER visit. Nothing found (told it was likely a panic attack). Pain subsided but flared up again over the following weeks. Eventually I couldn't justify NOT going to the ER again. Blood tests ran with everything normal except for an elevated D-Dimer (associated with, among other poor diagnoses, cancer). Suspected pulmonary embolism, so given a chest CT. Negative findings and told to follow-up with a cardiologist. Cardiologist runs tests, notices nothing abnormal, and eventually tells me he thinks its all from anxiety. I meditate on this diagnosis and decide I disagree (meanwhile the pain, described as a pressure/squeezing, becomes more regular), so I see my GP and a gastro.

    In December 2018 my GP orders abdominal MRI w/wo contrast, which returns negative.

    In February 2019 I undergo an endoscopy. Endoscopy reveals very minor hiatal hernia and a schaztki ring (implying reflux). Omezprazole had already been prescribed but it doubled to a max dose. No improvement. In fact, the pain is now a daily, almost constant occurrence. It's usually under the left rib cage but is sometimes in the middle of the chest, middle of the abdomen, or left shoulder. Nausea now accompanies the pain to where I think I may sometimes vomit (I haven't yet). It's long since been affecting my mental and physical well-being. Additionally, unlike what you would expect with reflux, my pain seems to improve from lying supine. It also feels like my torso muscles sometimes... cramp? It's difficult to describe. I have a tough time turning my torso all the way to the side without discomfort.

    Given it's cheap availability and non-invasiveness, I got the gastro to order a abdominal ultrasound last week, which returned negative (with the caveat that there was a "limited evaluation of the pancreatic head").

    Risk factors: Heavy 12 year tobacco user, heavy drinker, poor diet, family history of cancer (not pancreatic).

    I'm at a loss as to what this could be other than pancreatic cancer.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User IndyLou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Let me get this straight: you're an out-of-shape 20-something with poor lifestyle choices; you've seen several doctors who can't find anything wrong with you; you've received numerous diagnostic tests which have all come back negative, and you believe the only thing that your non-medical mind can imagine is pancreatic cancer?

    This forum is about support and encouragement for those who have been diagnosed with cancer or their caregivers. We encourage people with cancer concerns to discuss their concerns with their doctors. That's the appropriate thing to do, as we could not possibly confirm your diagnosis. We strongly recommend that you do not "Google" symptoms because search engines do not account for your full medical history.

    Based on your age, you are not even close to the range of typical pancreatic cancer patients, who don't receive diagnoses until well after their 60th birthday. You do seem to have a high degree of anxiety, which I would encourage you to also discuss with a doctor. You might also use this self-induced "scare" to make some positive changes in your lifestyle: stop drinking; stop smoking; choose a healthier diet, and try to get some exercise.
    Age 54 Male
    early Feb, 2013 - Noticed almond-sized lump in shaving area, right side of neck. No other "classic" cancer symptoms
    late Feb, 2013 - Visited PCP for check-up, PCP advised as lymphoma. Did blood work, orders for CT-scan, referred to ENT
    3/7/13 - CT-scan inconclusive, endoscopy negative
    3/9/13 - FNA of neck mass
    3/14/13 - Received dx of squamous-cell carcinoma, unknown primary
    3/25/13 - CT-PET scan reveals no other active tumors
    3/26/13 - work/up for IMRT
    4/1/13 - W1, D1 of weekly cetuximab
    4/8/13 - W1, D1 of IMRT
    5/20/13 - complete 8 week regimen of weekly cetuximab
    5/24/13 - Complete 35-day regimen of daily IMRT
    mid-July 2013 - CT-PET scan reveals no active tumors, but shows necrotic tissue at site of original tumor
    early Sept 2013 - partial neck dissection to remove necrotic tissue. Assay shows no cancer present.
    Spring 2014 - No signs of cancer
    Spring 2015 - NED
    Spring 2016 - NED
    Spring 2017 - NED
    Spring 2018 - NED
    Spring 2019 - NED

  3. #3
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    I was under the impression that this particular forum, one forum among many on this site, is intended for the exact purpose I posted: for individuals worried about possible cancer. Furthermore, whereas I agree with the forum's policy of not diagnosing an individual, I would likewise caution you to not so rigidly label my experience as "self-induced". The hiatal hernia isn't self-induced, nor is the Schatki ring nor the elevated d-dimer (look up false positives for d-dimer). Certainly the symptoms aren't psychologically-induced, but I'm more than willing to accept a diagnosis other than pancreatic cancer -- I only have a hard time imagining what that diagnosis could be.

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Our valued member, also a moderator has provided you with realistic, logical advice. The "self induced " comment was related to poor life style decisions, those which you provided.

    You have had many diagnostic tests, not one was suspicious of cancer.

    Yes, this particular sub forum is for those to post they are worried. however again, after numerous tests, your doctors are not yet concerned yet only you can not think of anything other than cancer?

    Speak with your doctor. We have provided you with the only response possible. Continuing on about cancer is not helping you. Seeming to argue with our moderators and or members will result in a ban from this site. A moderator took time to respond to you, please be respectful.

    If you are ever diagnosed with cancer or a medically qualified doctor is suspicious of a cancer diagnosis, then we will be here for you.

    Talk to your doctor about your fear. There are hundreds of thing's causing your issues, cancer should not be the first thing you think of

    For reasons stated above, closing this thread

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Top User ddessert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Blog Entries
    Wow! Having a lot of experience with pancreatic cancer, I read though your entire OP and had no inkling that you were heading towards pancreatic cancer until you mentioned it in your last sentence.

    Also, not sure what D-dimer has to do with pancreatic cancer unless you were very well progressed (which you wouldn’t be if the scans don’t show anything)?

    We’ve had over 7 years of “Worried” people here for pancreatic cancer and not one has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. And the 20-somethings have never even been close.
    BRCA2 3398del5
    Dec 2010 - back/abd pain
    May 2011 - Unresectable stage III, 2.5cm tumor
    Jun-Aug 2011 - Gem/Cis, 9 rounds
    Oct-Nov 2011 - IMRT+Xeloda
    Oct 2011-Sep 2012 - shrinking tumor
    Feb 2012 - National Familial Pancreatic Study
    Aug 2012 - Downgraded to stage IIA, PGP
    Sep 2012 - Whipple, T3N0M0, 0.5cm tumor, 0/16 lymph nodes
    Dec 2012 - Quebec PanCan Study
    Sep 2012-May 2019 - NED
    Mar 2013-present - NCT01088789
    Jun 2019- NCT03805919


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