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Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

14 Feb 2018 19:28

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum.

I went to the Dr last week as I have what looks like a 5 month pregnancy tummy. As I'm 55 and post menopausal I knew it wasn't that! After a feel about, the Dr located what she thought was a "mass" in the top left part of my abdomen. She referred me for an ultrasound and because the abdo was full of gas and had a high fecal load, the radiographer was unable to determine what was there. She did, however, say in the letter to the Dr that she had identified a heterogenous mass separate from the spleen. But due to the gas etc could see nothing else. I've had a raft of blood tests, ca125, c reactive protein, full blood, liver function and thyroid, all clear. But today the ca19-9 has come back elevated. Awaiting the CEA.

Ive no symptoms other than bloat, although I'm now getting uncomfortable "aches" in my back occasionally. Nothing that needs painkillers. And bowel movements (sorry, all) are normal. 

Im really trying to be positive but my question is, under the NICE guidelines I need to be referred within 2 weeks for a ct scan. I am seeing the GP tomorrow and I think she is going to chat about what's next. But I've read somewhere that if they suspect pancreatic cancer they can refer quicker? Anyone know if this is so? I know she will want me to have the CT first but I know the prognosis for pancreatic cancer isn't great and I want to get the ball rolling fast.

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

15 Feb 2018 01:03 in response to Julia62

Hi Julia62.

I am not a doctor.

I haven't heard of this guideline you mention. I checked the NICE guidelines for pancreatic cancer and they only talk about a 2 week referral, same as every other urgent cancer referral.  But I must stress I'm not an expert so I may simply have looked up the wrong thing.

However, I don't think it would make any practical difference. It's not possible to make a diagnosis on a raised CA 19-9, because there are too many other possible reasons for this result. That means a CT (or maybe MRI) is the next logical step. Even then, you might also need a biopsy to make a final determination. 

I suggest you don't jump the gun. At present, you have a few symptoms and no diagnosis. Don't assume that you have cancer until you have a definite diagnosis.

Please let us know how you get on. 

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

8 Mar 2018 09:16 in response to telemando

Sadly the CT scan picked up what appears to be an abdominal sarcoma with lesions in my lungs, liver and spleen. I've been referred to the sarcoma unit in the Marsden but from what I've read it's a rare cancer so treatment options may be limited. I hate waiting. I won't be seen before the end of next week, and as there is only one scanner that's working at our local hospital I have no idea how long the biopsy will take. I feel like a walking time bomb and a very niggle and twinge has me imagining "ripely" as I now refer to her, spreading and seeding all over the place! But friends and family have been amazing. It's a comfort. But crying a river was never so appropriate a phrase. Every kind text has me all over the place. But I've started a diary. That helps. Thanks for listening 

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

8 Mar 2018 10:41 in response to Julia62

Hi Julia

I'm very sorry to hear that, but at least you know what you're facing. Receiving a cancer diagnosis is never a pleasant experience, and what you're going through now is a normal (but unpleasant) reaction. Waiting for further tests can be agonizing, and the period between diagnosis and starting treatment can be especially tough. You are doing the right thing telling your friends and family, and I'm sure their support will be invaluable some time in the future.

And we'll still be here if you feel the need to talk, or rant. 

Until then I'll send my best wishes.

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

8 Mar 2018 12:23 in response to Julia62

Hi there julia ... dont know if this will help but l felt my lump for 2 years befor it was detected and that was from a chest x ray for an infection  ... my oncologist let me have a couple of weeks to decide what to do ... I did have mastectomy last July and it was a grade 3 her 2 and thought my time was up ... wrote letters to loved ones and arranged my funeral ... most of this was caused by WAITING ... for everything ..  for appointments / tests / operation ... I'm glad I sorted all that as now put in a memory box and been there for 7 months now ...

If I could go back in time to advice the newly diagnosed me .. I would av given my self a telling off for fretting and doing the "what ifs" and l read a funny saying a while ago .. wer called patients because we need all the patience we can muster ... and we go to "waiting rooms" in Drs and hosp because wer there to just WAIT  ... 

Thers no easy way round the waiting , we've all been there .. getting the test after long agonising wait , only to wait again for results ...that's why they call this a rollercoaster with lots of downs but a few ups too ... well when you feel scared just look around this cancer rollercoaster ... wer all here on it right beside you ... my daughter in law said to us... no more what ifs , no more pre panics well cope with everything as and when it pops up and well do it together  ... well it worked for me ... and here I am 7 months in writting to you ... I'm sure being more positive made this all do able ...

I'm waiting for some results next week .. but I'm gonna be a patient,  patient... you can do this .. all the worrying won't change the outcome ... have a good cry / scream and then get your boxing gloves on and get into the ring to kick cancers butt ... we may not win but we can kick him right down the road .. coz cancer wants us to give up, cry and just stay down .. don't let it .. you can do this .. wer here whenever you need to chat or vent .. we do know those feelings .. sending you a big hug  ❤❤

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

9 Mar 2018 00:42 in response to telemando

Thanks Telemando 

Re: Abdominal mass possibly pancreatic cancer

9 Mar 2018 00:48 in response to Chriss

Hi Chriss,

Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I am, by nature, someone who wants to get on and fix things so waiting is hard for me. But this time I am fearful for what getting on with it will mean, while at the same time wanting to make a start on whatever treatment I need to have. 

Patience is coming, however, because you are right. Worrying won't change the outcome. And while I may well be painting on the bravado at times for my family and friends, I am also sure that positivity will ultimately ensure a better recovery from whatever is thrown at me. That and Drugs.

Julia x