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possible pancreatic cancer?

Postby Shepster47 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:25 pm

I'm new here and i hope I'm posting in the correct place.
Mods please move if i'm wrong.

Sorry for the long post

I'm 47, male, and having serious pains in my left abdomen and back and am really worried it could be pancreatic cancer. i seem to an increasing amount of symptoms every week.

For the last 5 years I've always seemed to have something wrong with me. I Always felt under the weather but blood tests never showed anything serious. I was diagnosed 4 years ago with Gilbert's syndrome. I had a routine liver function blood test and they believed it to be that. my LFT's have been tested every year since then. This has meant my pee has always been a yellow colour. I was then diagnosed with fatty liver disease when my alt levels were high and found on an ultrasound.

about 3 years ago, i then had left side abdomen pains and after alot of tests and a colonoscopy was found to have diverticulitis. i think i also have IBS as i regularly have bouts of diarrhea.

15 months ago i had really bad gerd and after an endoscopy was found to also have gastritis and a hiatus hernia. I was prescribed antibiotics and pranteprozole 20mg for when i felt the gerd was bad. not to use all the time. I also had a full abdominal ultrasound which found my liver, spleen, pancreas and kidneys to be normal (except for the fatty liver)

During all this time i have bouts of joint pain, back pain and neck pain. ive always put this down to anxiety. i have felt tired most of the time but cannot sleep and i generally suffer from fatigue. i takes me 3 attempts to mow my lawn as i get out of breath.

My liver test at the beginning of the year was my best yet. All levels were now just within range. My alt was exactly 40. (it had been 100 at one point)

Cut to 2 months ago. i got bone pains in my mid back near my kidney area and pain right between my shoulder blades that just seemed to come on overnight. A few weeks later and i got a left abdominal pain right below the rib cage. As the rib pain was definitely a new pain for me (my pains were always low). of course I then went to my docs who ordered some blood tests and did a urine sample. The sample was clear so the gp wasnt worried about my kidneys.
The bloods came back LFT ok, kidney functions ok, calcium ok. full blood count all normal. However he never ordered amylase, ca19-9 or c reactive protein. i begged for a scan as i was still in agony and the gp agreed to send for an ultrasound.

1 month ago.
I had now had the pains for a month and my back pain between my shoulder blades was even more painful and was even worse when i sat back on a chair or laid down. i also developed a pain in my left pelvis that is still here now.

I found i got a really bad pain in my side when i laid on my left and was struggling to get any sleep. To make matters worse, between the gp and hospital they had lost my referral......so that was 3 weeks wasted and i had to start again and wait for for another ultrasound.
These last few weeks have been hell. im not sleeping as i cant find a comfy place to lay, the pains in my back and under my ribcage is agony. I am taking codeine for the pain and its not touching it. i am like a walking zombie. im still going to work and thankfully i have a desk job and can lean forward to work.

i started to worry this could be pancreatic cancer when i read the symptoms on the nhs website and realised i had many of the symptoms.

This last week ive had non stop diarrhea, and to make matters worse it is a lighter brown and has undigested food in it. It does not float and is not oily but is quite smelly. This has freaked me out, ive had diarrhea many times but nothing like this with undigested food and im now thinking i may have pancreatic cancer. I just cant seem to get into the nhs system. I have been waiting well over a month and still not been given any ultrasound date.

last night i was in so much pain that i nearly went to A&E to see if they would give me a scan.

To recap after my waffling:-

i have back pain directly behind my left kidney/pancreas
i have back pain between my shoulder blades higher on my back. This pain gets worse when i sit or lay on it and gets better when i sit forward.
i have a continuous pain just below my left ribcage that hurts more when i lay on my left side
i am very weak and tired (i have been for a long while now)
i have lost weight but unsure if its through anxiety
i have light brown diarrhea with undigested food in the stools.
general bloods ok but gp not done any specific pancreatic ones.

i had a full abdominal ultrasound 15 months ago. Do you think pancreatic cancer could have been missed? or that it has grown and spread in those 15 months? im not sure how fast these things grow.

what do you guys think? do i have the classic symptoms or could this be something else.

I'm am so scared, i stupidly read the statistics in the nhs website and now all i can think about is dying and leaving behind my girls and my beautiful wife. Life was going so well.
If i do have pancreatic cancer, i am scared that with all my pains it may have spread and there will be nothing that can be done.
Im 47 and i guess its quite rare for my age but it does happen.

i cant sleep, the pain is driving me crazy and im getting worse every week.
To make matters worse i cant seem to get into the nhs system to get a scan.

would a&e give me a scan if i went and explained im in agony?

i dont know if to just pay and go privately and have an mri or something
is that the best scan to have?
im not sure if the ultrasound i will eventually have when the nhs gets round to it will be good enough.

Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.


Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:14 pm

Re: possible pancreatic cancer?

Postby BlacJAC » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:55 am

No one can really tell you if they think it's pancreatic cancer. Only tests and ultimately biopsies can tell you one way or the other.

What i will say and it's a trap I too fell into at the beginning is it's very, very easy to fall into the trap of putting all your symptoms into a single basket and coming up with a condition that fits them all rather than looking at the more obvious scenario, that all these symptoms may relate to 2 or more different conditions or ailments. It's entirely plausible that your back pain is a disc or nerve issue and that your GI issues are from another. This is how it was in my case and when you consider the amount of people who go through this, it's the most likely case.

Codeine, well, that in itself can cause pain down there. Your bowels stop functioning properly. It's notorious for creating gastro problems. Especially colon issues. Lets also get something out in the open, your symptoms from years ago are highly unlikely to be from pancreatic cancer as you'd not be here typing this 5 years after the event.

The flip side of the coin, US are more often than not next to useless when it comes to looking at the pancreas. There have been people who have had some inclination that there's something wrong via an US, but many more you have been told all is rosy when a CT/MRI have told a different story.

Undigested food. I used to get that a lot before I altered my diet and when my anxiety was through the roof. I haven't had that for an absolute age now. That could be purely down to IBS or anxiety. It was in my case.

My issues are still ongoing and I'm still seeking answers, but what i don't do now is lump all my symptoms together because some are separate from the GI issues even though it would be easy to lump them together.

I suggest requesting an MRI for your back/liver and take it from there. If you go in demanding all the tests under the sun you're more likely NOT to be taken seriously. Of course, you can bypass all that and do it privately which I did with certain tests/scans when i felt I was getting nowhere.

Where i was at the beginning: Swollen Lymph nodes, back pain, weight loss, floating stools, pale stools and upper right pain.

All the above pointed to PC, but the URQ pain was because i have a tight bend in my colon, my back pain was disc related, weight loss I'm assuming was down to anxiety as I've put on 1/2 stone since and remained constant. Nodes were from previous enlargement due to virus or infection. Stools, I still have no idea 2 years later.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Re: possible pancreatic cancer?

Postby Shepster47 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:05 am

Thanks blacJac

My symptons took a turn for the worst yesterday as i became jaundice. So unfortunately i think mine is pancreatic related.

I also dont have any former back problems, I have a desk and we all have special chairs that are good for our posture and back. I wasnt doing any type of lifting i just noticed these 2 points on my back started hurting one day. One directly behind the kidney/pancreas and one high up between my shoulder blades.

Then soon after the pain in my right ribs also manifested itself. I am worried about the pain directly behind as it may mean spread.

Due to the pains and jaundice ive been admitted to hospital (friday the 13th, just my luck. My bilirubin is sky high so they want to see whats causing it. They didnt get around to giving me a ct scan today so im now having an anxious extra day while i wait. I better get the scan tomorrow or i think my heart will explode. I cant take another day in hospital.

I cant believe with all these symptoms they didnt rush me through. I explained how anxious i was and they were adamant it would be today.

I have not had a b/m for 2 days since i had 3 yellowy diarrhea b/m's with undigested food in one day. I am normally as regular as clockwork one a day for as Iong as i can remember.

I am so scared about tomorrow but the wait is even worse. I am still angry that i had an ultrasound instead of a ct scan 16 months ago. I will never know if my pancreas was really clear or missed by the radiologist. That one scan may have cost me my life.

I wish i had gone privately as i have works health insurance but they wanted consultant referral so it would have taken just as long as the nhs.

I cant sleep tonight. Ive had a panic attack already. Tomorrows scan could signal my death sentence.



Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:14 pm

Re: possible pancreatic cancer?

Postby BlacJAC » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:06 pm

Hi Shep,

So sorry to hear about your latest symptoms. What you do have going in your favour and taken from the nhs website:

Symptoms of Gilbert's syndrome

Most people with Gilbert's syndrome experience occasional and short-lived episodes of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) due to the build-up of bilirubin in the blood.

As Gilbert's syndrome usually only causes a slight increase in bilirubin levels, the yellowing of jaundice is often mild. The eyes are usually affected most.

I know you said your readings are sky high, but 'Sky high' could still fall within a slight increase depending on actual numbers. Is your jaundice really bad or mild? If mild, then it may just be part of the above syndrome.