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Old 12-01-2003, 08:35 AM   #1
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coaches wife HB User
Question do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

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I am a 43 yr old female who is for the most part healthy. I have had IBS about 3 times in my life since I have been 40. I am on no medications at this time other than vitamins. I have been having a weird pain in my stomach...

It is right behind my left rib cage. The best way to describe it is like when you are pregnant and the baby's foot is caught in your ribs.....

I am very scared...because I have read that pancreatic cancer has no symptoms until the tumor has progressed... The last bloodwork that I have had done was last December and every thing was normal then....

Does anybody know of someone who has had this cancer and were there symptoms the same?????

Thank you

Coaches wife

 
Old 12-02-2003, 07:36 AM   #2
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kj_slid HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaches wife
[FONT=Tahoma]

I am a 43 yr old female who is for the most part healthy. I have had IBS about 3 times in my life since I have been 40. I am on no medications at this time other than vitamins. I have been having a weird pain in my stomach...

It is right behind my left rib cage. The best way to describe it is like when you are pregnant and the baby's foot is caught in your ribs.....

I am very scared...because I have read that pancreatic cancer has no symptoms until the tumor has progressed... The last bloodwork that I have had done was last December and every thing was normal then....

Does anybody know of someone who has had this cancer and were there symptoms the same?????

Thank you

Coaches wife


I am not sure if I can help you. But I will give you the best advice that I know how. I honestly do not think it's pancreatic cancer. I think it's something else. Doesn't sound very serious. It could be your gall bladder. I am no doctor but I would go get checked out. Here is some advice..stop reading stuff of the net. I did the same and it scared me about. I was doing some research pancreatic cancer because I was worried about my grandmother. Half of the stuff you read on the net.. isn't the truth. I went two different sites and read about pancreatic cancer and it told me two different things. Whatever you read was totally different from what I read. I read that there are lots of symptons. Such as, loss of appetite, weight loss, pain in the abdomen. And much more. Don't read anymore of that stuff. It will make you more freaked out.

You say that it's behind your left rib cage. Hmmmm...that is not near the pancreas anyway. Just go to your doctor and explain the pain you are having. I don't think it's anything very serious. I will tell you about my grandmother.


My grandmother had a proceedure done on her yesterday. She had to have a tube ran down her throat because she's had this blockage in her bile duct. Well, everyone was thinking that it could be gall stones. I wish that I could say that it was..but it's a tumor on the stem of her pancreas. The doctor said that this was very rare. He doesn't think that it has spreaded but he's not sure until she goes back to the hospital once again next month. She's not been in any kind of pain whatsoever. The symptons started in September. The only thing that told her that something was wrong was this non-stop itching she had all over her body. Her main doctor thought it was allergies. She put my grandma on different kinds of medication. Nothing worked. Then, her skin turned yellow about 3 weeks ago. They sent her to the hospital for tests. All of her other organs, such as, her heart, liver, gall bladder, everything else in her body turned out fine. No signs of any tumors.

The itching and yellow skin was because the poisons couldn't get out of her body. It was surfacing to the skin. They have this tube inside her that is going to get rid of all of the poisons. Then, they can do the operation. Other than that, you can't tell that granny has anything wrong with her. She's got a great appetite, she's only tired from being in the hospital for a few days. She's coming home this afternoon. If the tumor hasn't spreaded, they will have to take out her pancreas but she will have to take insullin shots everyday. Which is normal for some people. Diabetics for an example.

 
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Old 12-02-2003, 01:58 PM   #3
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Tallon HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

I lost a loved one to pancreatic cancer 2 years ago. She was 38 when she died. They do say" When you realize the symptoms, its usually too late" which I believe to be true. Her symptoms started with stomach pain, mild to severe. Then she was sick, she couldnt hold down food, especially painful to have a drink(alcohol) They diagnosed her with IBS, but their treatments didnt help the pain. She had a cat scan done and they didnt see anything out of the ordinary, other than 2 spots on her liver. They told her that they were just fatty deposits. She was 5'7" and weighed 120 lbs how could they be fat?
Anyway she continued with the tratments and got sicker and eventually started getting jaundice, she was really yellow so they finally looked at her pancreas. She had a tumor and it had metasticized to her liver, therefore it was inoperable, stage 4.
Chemo did help for a while, she had the shunt put in so the tumor wouldnt block the bile duct. It eventually perforated the tissue, because the tumor got smaller with chemo, so there was room for it to slide around.
I wont give anymore details, I will say though, the earlier they detect it, the more time you will have.
I pray that you dont have this disease.

Best Wishes
Michelle

Last edited by hbguide1; 12-02-2003 at 02:32 PM. Reason: A reminder that the Board Guidelines you agreed to do not allow off-board contact information (e-mail, IM) to be shared.

 
Old 12-03-2003, 03:50 PM   #4
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projapoti HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallon
They told her that they were just fatty deposits. She was 5'7" and weighed 120 lbs how could they be fat?
Because fat on the liver doesn't mean necessarily that you're fat on the outside, instead, it means that there are some changes to the liver tissue itself. For people that binge drink a few days in a row, if you were to take a look at their liver, there would be fatty deposits due to the release of these lipids from the liver cells. Within days to weeks, this goes away (in a young person).

But let's go back to the original question to the person who started this thread. Coach's wife...why, when you feel this pain behind your left rib cage, do you automatically think it's pancreatic cancer? Why not a burst spleen? Why not pneumonia? Why not a pleural effusion? Why not pancreatitis? Why not gas? The point I am trying to make here is that, in medicine, if someone has a symptom, there is something called a differential diagnosis that you think about which is a list of all the possibilities of what could be causing the symptoms. I suspect that you were surfing the internet about left sided pain and you found that this is a symptom of pancreatic cancer and now you have worried yourself sick that you have it.

The reason why computers will never replace doctors because a computer can give you a list of symptoms as part of a disease, but that's it. The doctor, in addition to this list, can look at all the clincal factors and then make his/her decision.

Pancreatic cancer is very rare in a person your age, and you're not sick enough to have it. Usually people with pancreatic cancer will have intractable nausea and vomiting, constant, 10 out of 10 pain in their abdomen etc. etc. You have none of this. (and if you did, you wouldn't feel up to posting on this forum ).

Anyway, I think you shouldn't be worried about pancreatic cancer (or any of the other things that I mentioned above).

How long has your pain been going on?
Does it get worse or better with eating?
Have you had any nausea and/or vomiting?
Any bloody diarrhea?
Any shortness of breath?
Any chest pain?

One more question...seriously, why did pancreatic cancer jump to your head as the first possibility as to the cause of your pain?

Last edited by projapoti; 12-03-2003 at 03:51 PM.

 
Old 12-03-2003, 03:59 PM   #5
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projapoti HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by kj_slid
. Here is some advice..stop reading stuff of the net. I did the same and it scared me about.
I totally agree with this.
Quote:
I was doing some research pancreatic cancer because I was worried about my grandmother. Half of the stuff you read on the net..
It's not that it's not the truth kj_slid, it's that, if you're not a doctor, it's hard to interpret the sensitivity and specificity of the different symptoms that you see. For example a symptom like abdominal pain is by no means specific for pancreatic cancer, while jaundice is moreso.
Quote:
I read that there are lots of symptons. Such as, loss of appetite, weight loss, pain in the abdomen.
These symptoms are very true, and they are called constitutional symptoms. They are present in a LOT of different conditions, not just pancreatic cancer. What I mean by this is that, there are classifications of the different types of symptoms you see with a certain condition...and knowing how to classify these symptoms is something that comes with medical training.
Quote:
You say that it's behind your left rib cage. Hmmmm...that is not near the pancreas anyway.
Sorry, even though I agree with you that I don't think it's pancreatic cancer, what you have said above is incorrect. The tail of the pancreas touches the spleen in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen which is close to the left rib cage. Also, the pain can be referred to a level higher than the actual pathology is coming from. In an extreme case, people that have inflammation in their abdominal cavity can actually feel pain in their shoulder blades!

 
Old 12-03-2003, 07:16 PM   #6
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mscout1118 HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

My Dad died of Pancreatic cancer 15 years ago almost to the day Dec 2nd. Anyhow, he first had pain in hi lower right side of his back (mid-lower-right actually) and what gave it all away was when he lost control of his bowel movements. It was very sad to see such a large, macho man begin to do these things. I hope everything works out for you, your sypmtoms dont really match what he had.

I, myself, since turning 30 have been freaking on every slightly abnormal blood test or pain that i might feel. I need to stop freaking out, I know, but as I get older, my family history just messes with my head I guess.

 
Old 12-16-2003, 05:55 PM   #7
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Marlyns HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Hi,

I don't believe that you have the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, but I'm not a doctor.

My father had pancreatic cancer when he died in 1994, and his sister died of the disease in 1995.

Dad had other long-term health problems, mostly relating to his heart and bowels.

Both he and his sister lost weight. Both said that food didn't taste the same any more. They got itchy and jaundiced.

I hope that you are feeling better and that the pain isn't there anymore

Marlyn

 
Old 05-22-2004, 01:49 PM   #8
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robin1717 HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

I know this post is way after the time of the original thread, but I wanted to post anyway. My mom has pancreatic cancer and the only symptom she had was pain, thatís it pain. She had a good appetite, she was not jaundiced, she was not itchy, and her bowels even worked fine. Even after an ultrasound, ct, and mri they didn't know for sure that it was pancreatic cancer. The only way they knew for sure was with en endoscopic retrograde. Then she had a laporascomy that determined that it had spread. The symptoms are different when the tumor is in different parts of the body.

 
Old 05-23-2004, 06:22 PM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Marimac HB UserMarimac HB User
Re: do i have symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaches wife
[FONT=Tahoma]

I am a 43 yr old female who is for the most part healthy. I have had IBS about 3 times in my life since I have been 40. I am on no medications at this time other than vitamins. I have been having a weird pain in my stomach...

It is right behind my left rib cage. The best way to describe it is like when you are pregnant and the baby's foot is caught in your ribs.....

I am very scared...because I have read that pancreatic cancer has no symptoms until the tumor has progressed... The last bloodwork that I have had done was last December and every thing was normal then....

Does anybody know of someone who has had this cancer and were there symptoms the same?????

Thank you

Coaches wife
My grandmother died from pancreatic cancer. She only had symptoms of diabetes. She began craving anything that had sugar, carb, or fat. She had never been a sweets eater before. Then suddenly she would be at the grocery store stocking up on the gooiest, greasiest fatty sugary pastries. They would not even be made of quality ingredients. She would eat several per day. This was an extreme change in her eating habits. Then when she started having gallbladder symptoms, no one was surprised, but when they did the gallbladder surgery, the doctor discovered the pancreas was so cancerous that he did not need to do a pathology sample to know it was cancer. He did do one of course, but it was less than 3 months later that my grandmother died. The gallbladder had some stones,and needed to come out but the cancer killed her very rapidly.

 
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