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Old 01-29-2006, 08:23 AM   #1
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Jonty123 HB User
Worried about Liver Cancer

Hi there

Two weeks ago I had a blood test , which came back with all the tests ok apart from an elevated ALT of 82. A week after that I have developed a constant dull ache beneath my right shoulder / back area which radiates to my right shoulder and right arm , also occasionally slight fever , tiredness and lack of appettite / nausea. As you do I look up these symptoms on the internet and it came back with the possibility of liver cancer

Of course after seeing this I immediately arranged to have a abdominal ultrascan , which came back saying there was no obvious problems with my liver or gallbladder, apart from signs that I suffering from a fatty liver (which would explain the elevated ALT)

However I still have the same symptoms and so I am still very worried about the possibility it might be liver cancer. Strangely I've talked to my mother about these symptoms and she says she suffers from something very similar, which is slightly reassuring

I'm going to go back to the GP next week and try to arrange to have a CT scan , mainly to further put my mind at easy and also if there is a problem to try to find it as soon as possible . Also I've got a further blood test in a couple of weeks time to see if my liver enzymes are changing.

Does anyone have any suggestion about what might be causing my shoulder ache, what I can do , or whether am I being a complete hypochrodaic about all this

Cheers

Jon

 
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:23 PM   #2
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inyourdreams HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

If the ultrasound didn't show anything major, I wouldn't think you'd have any noticeable tumors that might suggest liver cancer. I have a friend right now that is going to have her gallbladder out (against my wishes since I believe in liver flushing to get rid of the stones vs. surgery)----but her biggest complaint is a pain in her shoulder and back. Plus I've read stories on other sites about when your gallbladder is stressed that it can cause pain up there.

Even though your ultrasound showed nothing wrong with your gallbladder, it will not show sludge or stones---so it's possible that since your liver is fatty (like mine was), that your gallbladder is being overloaded with stones and sludge because your liver is that way. All stones and sludge start in the liver and move down to the gallbladder.

A liver flush cleans out the sludge and stones from your liver and gallbladder (kind of like having gb surgery without the surgery). It's been a wonderful thing in my life. My first flush yielded about 4 cups of heavy green sludge loaded with black stones. AMAZING. I felt so much better and lighter after that. I've done 3 so far and the last 2 didn't produce the sludge, but I did pass about 300 more stones.

Watch your diet to get those enzymes down. Highly processed foods, sugars, white flour, carbs, etc keep the enzymes up once you have fatty liver---also watch any intake of Tylenol or alcohol. Before I learned a lot about my condition I was a big time hypochondriac, but now since the net it has relaxed me a lot. I've found a lot of people along the way with the same symptoms and problems and that makes me feel better just knowing I'm not the only one. Hang in there and let us know what happens with your appt.

 
Old 01-29-2006, 12:56 PM   #3
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happyelf HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

Hi Jon-I think it's very normal to be concerned abt the pain! While 82 is higher than normal--isn't too terribly high. The cause for concern comes when it is double or triple the normal range for a few months even after you discontinue all meds. Anything you eat drink and breathe is filtered thru your liver-and viruses or illness (a cold or flu--even a slight one) will elevate your enzymes also. Your symptoms sound more like gallbladder than liver related...I had the same symptoms when I had a gallbladder packed with large stones. In that case you shouldn't do any flushing; it can do more harm than good. Always check w/your dr first. While a U/S is good for stones, a hida scan will show stones and any sludge (crystal like formations) you have in the ducts or gallbladder. Ok-now for the questions!! Did they tell you your AST level? Do you have this pain after eating all meals, some meals, junk food? Do you have it at night? Do you ever have it in the middle of your sternum-like bad heartburn? There were times I thought I was having a heart attack!! I was 35, not overweight, fairly fit ate healthy and had no idea a woman my age could have gallstones--so I naturally thought w/the pain in my shoulder and arm it was the heart. Hang in there and take care of yourself...if the pain gets too bad, call your dr or go to the ER. Hope this helps you. Gina

 
Old 01-29-2006, 03:11 PM   #4
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Jonty123 HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

Hi there

Thanks for the replies , I was wondering if it was gallbladder related myself, something to discuss with the doctor.

I am 35 and I don't drink but I am quite overweight , which may explain the fatty liver and elevated ALT (all the other liver enzyme results were normal).

The ache is constant , though it does vary in intensity (thought not with food and seems ok at night) and seems to have two focuses , one in my right shoulder blade and the other under my right armpit , I think the constant nature and the fact I've had it for a week or so now has worried me most

I'm going to try to get an appointment to see my doctor as soon as possible next week. I live in the UK , so I will try to get him to refer me for a CT scan of the liver area to a local private clinic so I can get it done quickly, also I will discuss the ultrasound and see what he has to say about my constant ache.

I think reading up on ultrasound has scared me a bit , some studies show them only about 75% accurate on finding tumours and the smaller the tumour the less likelyhood of finding it , so my feeling is that a second viewing with a different method would increase the chances of finding anything that the ultrasound missed , and it is important to find anything if there is anything as soon as possible before it grows

I will let people know of the result of talking to the doctor and what happens afterwards

The last two weeks have been a very scary time , and it has helped talk through things with people

Cheers

Jon

 
Old 01-29-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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happyelf HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

It never hurts to get the test done-and you're right-a second viewing w/a diff method would increase the likelyhood of finding something if there is indeed something there to find. (did that make ANY sense? ) I'll keep my fingers crossed for a clean report. Try not to surf the web too much--the info can be overwhelming and during this 'waiting' period the mind will start to do funny things...like convince yourself of other diseases. Many things from simple heartburn to gallstones exhibit the symptoms you're reporting; hopefully your dr will be able to shed some light on it for you in the meantime. Take care--hang in there.

 
Old 01-30-2006, 08:27 AM   #6
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Jonty123 HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

Hi there

Thanks once again for the reply. I've got an appointment with my doctor a week on Tuesday (this was the earliest I could get which is terrible long). I'll then try to get a refereal for CT scan off him

Cheers

Jon

 
Old 02-03-2006, 10:18 AM   #7
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liz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB Userliz49 HB User
Re: Worried about Liver Cancer

Hi..
The pain you're experinecing is likely what's called "referred pain" meaning,the pain isn't in your shoulder at all, but the "sick" gallbladder or swollen liver will press against the diaphram which causes you to have pain in the right side and shoulder blade area. But you should definitely bring this up with your doc and follow through. Best wishes! An MRI w/contrast or a CT scan will show any cancer growths (I know, my hubby has liver cancer) but it doesn't sound like that's going to be your situation. Good luck to you. (Heat on the areas that "hurt" might help...)

 
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