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Enlarged spleen with no underlying diagnosis, HELP!

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2012
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cyntera HB User
Enlarged spleen with no underlying diagnosis, HELP!

Hi everyone. I'm new to these boards so I should give some background on what's been going on.

Two months ago my father passed away (he was only 56) after a month spent in ICU/CCU after his treatable lymphoma spread to his brain and spine, a rare complication. This has been a huge stress on my mother and I - I am 27, an only child. We've been left with a number of financial issues, no will, no insurance, etc. Obviously because of this I've been under a lot of stress.

Two weeks ago I began having sharp pains below my left rib cage. These turned into a burning pain followed by pins and needles. I assumed a pulled muscle since I work retail and it's a bit strenuous at times. Last Tuesday, I saw my GP. He palpated my abdomen and told me I had an enlarged spleen. In the office that day they took bloodwork and a urine sample.

Both came back negative with nothing special, all within normal range. I was then sent two days later for a liver/spleen scan. Those results only showed a slightly enlarged spleen. My GP said to call back on Monday (four days later) if I still have symptoms and they would do a pelvic exam.

I'm a bit unhappy with this. I'm not sure how to proceed - an enlarged spleen isn't normal fare and I've never had this issue before. I haven't been sick that I know of lately, and I don't have any other symptoms.

A day after the liver/spleen scan my lower left back and side began to hurt (I'm told this is normal with an enlarged spleen). Two days later, I feel achey all over my body. I have no nausea, headaches, vomiting, enlarged lymph nodes that I can find. I am eating fine, BM and urine output seems normal. What the heck is going on?

I'd have assumed an ultrasound and/or MRI should also have been scheduled. The pain comes and goes, it's more of a dull ache now, and palpating my abdomen myself I can't find anything except pain when I press in certain areas. I'm 27 - my father just died from cancer, one symptom of which can be an enlarged spleen - and now I'm frightened I'm dying. I don't want to be brushed aside by my GP.

So, now what? Do I go for a second opinion somewhere else, ask for my blood work to be redone, ask for a US or MRI?? Help

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sanwan (01-24-2012)
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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sanwan HB Usersanwan HB User
Re: Enlarged spleen with no underlying diagnosis, HELP!


Sorry for your concerns and you have very good reasons for them. My sister had the same symptoms for quite awhile and her blood work etc. were normal. Finally her Primary physician sent her to a Oncologist who proceded to do MRI and bone marrow.She did have non-hodgkins lymphoma with the only symptom of enlarged spleen and pain more or less in side and back. No nights sweats, fevers or anything else that would make one think that this was going on.If your Dr. just kind of blows this off get another opinion and let it be know just why you are so concerned. You are young and if it is some kind of lymphoma I will say that my sister is 75 years old has had this for 6 years , been through 2 rounds of chemo feels super great and is wintering in Florida. In ny 20,s I had my spleen so enlarged that they were going to remove it. I had a bad case of mono....Have you been tested for that? Should show in a blood test but mine didn't for a long time after I was out of the hospital. I wish you well and hope that your fears are unfounded.


Old 01-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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Leelee28 HB UserLeelee28 HB User
Re: Enlarged spleen with no underlying diagnosis, HELP!

My first question is how did your appt go yesterday? (I assume it was yesterday based on your OP) Did they find anything? Did they US your pelvis at all?

Here is what I was thinking before I realized the date, so this may not be "relevant" today:

My initial thought was mono too, which can present in different ways. Are you tired? Do you still have your tonsils? If so, are they swollen? Do you know if they actually did a mono test - that needs to be ordered, it's not part of a "standard" blood work-up

I second sanwan - go get a 2nd opinion if you can! If you're scared or something feels wrong, find someone who will listen to you and address your concerns. An US isn't really useful for imaging the spleen, the best imaging is actually a CT scan. An US is great for the pelvis, so if they had a concern about that, they would US that. But, here's the "caveat" to all of this - we don't want to be doing CT scans without something to go off of. Your pain is relatively new and your initial work up showed nothing significant. While it's frustrating and scary as a patient, you have to trust your doc in some of his/her decisions and plans. Most certainly talk to them, express your concerns, and ASK about why they are choosing to wait. Spleen enlargement can happen for a lot of reasons, so you can't jump to conclusions too quickly. But really, what's most important to be seeing a provider who you feel comfortable with and will work closely with you to help solve whatever is going on. If that's not who you have now - find someone else. Find someone who you think is actually listening to you and concerned about you and this will be a better "experience" and you'll feel better about how things happen. Be patient, but stand firm in your concern. Providers need to know how you feel and what you're thinking and if they don't care or listen, you're with the wrong person.

Good luck! Let us know what happens

Old 01-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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Mel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB UserMel52 HB User
Re: Enlarged spleen with no underlying diagnosis, HELP!

I would ask for a repeat mono test. Sometimes it isn't positive the first time around.

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asymptomatic, splenomegly, undiagnosed

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