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Lupus symptom or something else?

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Old 07-12-2006, 04:21 PM   #1
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Question Docs checking for cancer?

How many of you have rheumy's that address the increased risk of cancer in lupus/autoimmune disease patients?
If yours has, what has he said? Done? What prompted the checking?

Last edited by Kristin67; 07-12-2006 at 06:17 PM. Reason: I felt like I was complaining... so wanted to change my post

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Old 07-13-2006, 05:55 AM   #2
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Re: Lupus symptom or something else?

Hi, Kristin. The only time the cancer concern was raised for me was PRIOR to Dx (severe GI problems for years). It's never come up since.

Is there something going on that is making you worry? Something your dr. said, or something you're noticing about yourself?

Best wishes, Vee

Old 07-13-2006, 11:25 AM   #3
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Re: Lupus symptom or something else?

Hi Vee, and thanks for replying...
My doctor has not brought up the additional risks of cancer with me... but my Internist once said that he wanted to biopsy my lymph nodes because they are so frequently painful and hard... but then I stopped seeing this particular doc and went mainly to my Rheumatologist. I didn't even think about it again until lately...
I had a painful lymph node in my left groin (not atypical at all, they are frequently painful and hard--sometimes it's under my arms, behind my ears, in my neck, behind my collarbones, behind my knees and up my spine) but this time it had a bright red streak coming from it, going down my leg a few inches. I didn't think much about it... But then came the night sweats again (these come and go in waves, too) and my stomach bloated up (again--this happens in waves... I used to have a VERY flat stomach--concave really--but now it's almost always bloated, just varying stages)... I started getting the low grade fevers, and got very tired... Then my gums got swollen, the sores appeared in my mouth, and joint/shoulder/bone pain began. Oh, and of course I started itching... I hate that part--so annoying! (Usually when I flare, my skin hurts to touch it, but this time it's not that way...) I chalked all of this up to a flare, but the lymph nodes are so painful now that it's like I ate a jaw breaker and my back is KILLING me. The others are just "normal painful". Some under my chin are now enlarged (this is new... they usually don't enlarge, but stay small but hard).
I did some research and found that my symptoms really do mimic those of different types of lymphoma/leukemias, and then in trying to tell myself that "this is ridiculous, it's just a flare" found out that lupus patients have a higher risk of these types of cancers, and that they can remain cyclical and active/inactive for years before being found... and that lupus patients are usually overlooked for cancer testing.
So, my trying to talk myself out of things has now raised my concerns, not only about my own strange symptoms (which I am sure are just a flare), but for others with lupus.
So, a question--do all flares look essentially the same (albeit different for each patient, but the same for each individual), but with varying degrees? Or can flares take on different forms each time?
Thanks for your input I really appreciate it. I usually don't ask questions at the doc (or anywhere else), as I don't want to be a burden or a "pain" or a hypochondriac... this is strange for me to bring up all of my "issues" haha. Forgive me if I sound like I'm complaining.

Old 07-16-2006, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: Lupus symptom or something else?

Hello Kristin,

I got this information from The Lupus Foundation of America who provide lots of good help and data.

"People with lupus are no more likely to develop cancer than are people in the general population". What they are saying is clear and is that because a person has lupus, it doesn't mean that they are at a greater or lesser risk of developing cancer than anyone else.

Maybe it would be worth it for you to look into this well respected and trusted organisation and hopefully put your mind at rest.

Take care.

I am not a medical doctor, I only speak from my own experience of the illnesses I discuss here.

Last edited by goldenwings; 07-16-2006 at 10:36 AM.

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