Focal Nodular Hyperplasia in males?
I'm a 29 year old man who recently was diagnosed with Focal Nodular Hyperplasia. Of course, that's just what they think it is -- a 7.2 x 4.7 x 4.5cm lesion on the right hepatic node -- I suppose these things are never 100% certain, which is why I'm freaking out a little.
I have relatively minor health problems, I tend to get colds a lot (4 or 5 a year?) and have trouble recovering, frequently ending with a 6-8 week chronic cough. I've had doctors alternately tell me I'm asthmatic or have acid reflux or post-nasal drip or whatever. The reason this thing was found was a follow-up with an ENT suggested that I go in for a set of CT scans due to a slightly enlarged lymph node on my neck (less than 1cm, so no need for biopsy, they say).
During these initial CT scans, they found an incidental mark on my liver. Had the follow up MRI, the reading suggests FNH. My GP recommended a trip to a gastroenterologist, who confirmed, said "Your blood tests are normal, liver function normal, you're a healthy young man. If the alpha-feta protein comes back high, you can kiss yr butt goodbye, otherwise we just follow it and scan again in 4-6 months." Well, alpha-feta protein came back normal, which is good, obviously, but I continue to get the caveat, "We just don't know unless we biopsy." But I had another chat with my GP and he suggests a biopsy because "the issue is in the tissue" -- i.e., there is just no way to tell FOR SURE what this thing is without going in for a biopsy.
So, I've been scanning the boards, reading about FNH, getting myself good and worked up about the possibility for resection (though no doctor has mentioned it, this tumor is bigger than average AND I'm a man which seems very rare).
Any other men diagnosed with FNH? All I see on this board with FNH are women who were on birth control.
Anybody have any experiences with CT-guided liver biopsies they would like to share? My Doc seems keen on it for completeness but warns that there is always risk of complication. I guess he's just being conservative and thorough, which I appreciate, but the specialist sees no need for a biopsy yet. I would have it done if there was no chance for complications, but I guess that's always a risk?
I'm terrified of cancer (who wouldn't be) -- just doesn't seem plausible in a man of my age, no hepatitis, no cirrhosis .. I did smoke for 10 years and I drink moderately, but primary liver cancer?? All these scans and not a problem anywhere else in the upper half of my body. I'm generally pretty healthy at the moment, though I'm going through a ton of psychosomatic stress, wondering constantly, "Is that a pain in my side? Is my tumor growing?"
I appreciate any comments people have to share.