Long story (skip to below for just the questions):
I'm 24 y/o male. About a year ago I started noticing a slight pain in my left side of my abdomen. I was also experiencing occasional minor rectal bleeding (bright red blood, which I assume were hemorrhoids) and fairly frequent diarrhea which got progressively worse (until I had a sigmoidoscopy, at which point it basically went away). About 8 months ago I noticed several new moles on my chest appeared very suddenly. I was worried that perhaps I had colon cancer which was spreading to my skin.
I saw a doctor, and expressed my concerns. He didn't seem too worried, but did some tests including an abdomen ultrasound, which turned up fatty liver, which seems abnormal for my age, though I had drank a lot in college over the previous 5 years.
The liver demonstrates marked increased
echogenicity and coarse echotexture, consistent with fairly
severe fatty infiltration. No focal mass or lesion identified.
The spleen appears normal. The pancreas is poorly visualized in
distal body and tail. Otherwise unremarkable. Gallbladder and
bile ducts are normal. Kidneys normal. Aorta normal in caliber.
No free fluid.
That didn't ease my concerns completely, so I then had a abdominal CT scan (5 months ago) and sigmoidoscopy (3 months ago), which were mostly clear. The CT scan showed the fatty liver and some lymph nodes.
The liver demonstrates diffuse decrease in
attenuation consistent with fatty infiltration. Focal fatty
sparing is seen adjacent to the gallbladder fossa. No suspicious
hepatic masses. The pancreas, spleen, adrenals, gallbladder and
kidneys are within normal limits. A few top normal mesenteric
lymph nodes adjacent to the ascending colon, nonspecific although
most likely reactive. Unremarkable opacified portions of bowel,
clear lung bases.
The fatty liver and lymph nodes sort of worried me because I've come across some cases of cancer being misdiagnosed as fatty liver: [url]http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/183/3/721[/url]
After the sigmoidoscopy I pretty muchstopped worrying about the colon cancer, but I still have many symptoms that are unexplained.
About four months ago I started getting lots of neck and back pain. One day my neck just felt really stiff and since then I experience pain in my neck/shoulder and middle back area on and off for days at a time. I saw a physical medicine specialist, who did an MRI which showed a herniated disk in my neck, which he concluded was causing the pain. This also worries me because I can feel what feels like a lump or knot at the end of my shoulder blade, near my neck. It doesn't feel symmetrical with the other side.
The signal characteristics of the spinal
cord are unremarkable. There is disk desiccation from C2-3 through
C6-7 with mild disk space narrowing primarily involving C5-6.
There is reversal of the cervical lordosis. Slight dextroscoliosis.
I also have a persistent cough that started about a year ago and has gotten a little worse since. I had a chest xray done which was "essentially normal" but the doctor mentioned they noticed what could be asthma, though another doctor said asthma doesn't show up on xrays... could it be mistaken for lung cancer/metastasis?
And finally, what really worried me was I can feel a smallish lump (about 1 inch) just below the right side of my ribcage. I saw my doctor last week and tried to point it out to her, but she said it was just part of my liver. I would believe her except it moves around and I can feel it move against the bottom of my ribcage. (I'm afraid she didn't actually feel what I was talking about, which I didn't think about until after I had left)
Can muscle pain in the shoulders and back be a symptom of cancer? It came on really suddenly in my neck, and gradually spread to shoulders and back. It comes and goes and sometimes is worse than others.
Can smallish red spots (that can be mistaken for acne) be a sign of some kind of cancer? They are located mostly on my back and shoulders, in the same area as the pain. Sometimes I can squeeze the puss out, but they seem deeper than normal acne. I've never had it to this extent before (could it be brought on by this anxiety?). They take a long time to heal (~2 weeks, though I scratch at them) and don't seem to disappear completely.
Should I be worried about this lump in my abdomen that moves around a little?
At this point I'm worried my doctors have concluded I'm a hypochondriac, and are ignoring any concerns I have, but I can't tell.
It may just be hypochondria/health anxiety, but I've never been one to unnecessarily worry about my health before. It just seems like there's too many physical symptoms for it to just be in my head.
Well, I'm still alive and relatively healthy, and I was never diagnosed with anything other than anxiety, so I think it was just stress which snowballed into hypochondria. The mind can play awful tricks on you.
That said, I'm not a doctor of course, so you should still probably see a doctor if you're not sure...