Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Could these symptoms indicate cancer?
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Could these symptoms indicate cancer?

Recently, I noticed changes in my body and I’m worried that they could indicate something serious. A little background: I’m 22 and have been fairly active.  About a year ago I was diagnosed with OCD, GAD, and mild depression and have started treatment (currently taking Xanax as needed and Zoloft). My major compulsive act is skin picking and I am worried that I have set my body up for disaster since it has been constantly repairing itself for over 10yrs.
Here is a list of symptoms that I have noticed in the past few months. Most notably would be my weight loss; I am 5’4”, fairly muscular, and have been a constant 130lb for 8yrs. Since Sept I have lost just over 20lbs putting me at 108lbs(I haven't weighed less than 120lbs in over 10yrs). I stopped working out (Nov) and continued eating the same foods but I am still losing weight. I have started drinking Boost with no weight change. I also have multiple GI issues. I’ve been having a lot more bowel movements (anywhere between 4-9/day) when I used to only have 1. I also have a lot more gas. The stool is rarely normal sized (unless I have been constipated) but more often it is soft and thin (slightly bigger than a pencil) or diarrhea. Most of the time my bowel feels like it has something in it and I often have bowel movements within an hour of each other. The transit time through my body has gotten faster (as little as 2.5hrs) and it looks like there is undigested food. A few years ago I had a rectal bleed (bright red) and mucus in my stool but never went to a doctor. Other symptoms include insomnia and night sweats. Also the lymph nodes in my neck, groin, and axilla are swollen (but nontender) and have been that way for about a month. A few weeks ago, my PCP ordered blood work (CBC w/diff, BMP, ESR) and a chest xray which were all normal. When I asked what the next step was, the nurse told me to eat well and rest. There is a family history of colon polyps and cancer. Should I seek another opinion? Any ideas?
Related Discussions
242516_tn?1368227505
A young person at lower than an ideal body weight, and losing weight, with increasing bowel movements and gas is concerning, especially with a change in the caliber of stool size.  A primary care doctor can do initial screening but if tests like CBC w/diff, BMP, ESR, and a chest xray are normal, other tests should be considered.  A gastroenterologist or general surgeon would likely offer colonoscopy if one has a family history of colon cancer, although the risk of this at an early age is less.  Colonoscopy can also evaluate for problems that can cause these symptoms, such as inflammatory bowel disease (chron's, ulcerative colitis).

Enoch Choi, MD
11 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My name is prasanth living in india. my age is 32 years I have been smoking min. 10 cigarettes per day from the past 10 years
and an alcoholic for 5 years(average 1 quarter per day). recently i have also abused COREX for the past one year(min 1 botle

per day) due to this my smoking also doubled. Now iam experiencing the below health problems.
1.Unusual sound of breathing in the night
2.Muscle cramps in all parts of the body
3.slight Pain in the lower abdomen when in empty stomach, frequent urination
4.some times i also get poking like pain in the liver and kidney area for a short duration
5.Recently last week, i drank alcohol continuously for three days without properly eating food. form 4th day i  had stopped

drinking. that day when i ate something, i had loose motions. Urine and stools smelled foul. also i had vomiting sensation

Then i toook lots of cocunut water and butter milk. that day night the condition was better and after two days i was fine.

Till that day i was sweating also. Like this it happend 3 times in the past one year.If i drink like this the next day my voice will change (as if i have cold)
6.When i took corex, i experienced constipation. At first when i began taking corex, there were days that i didnt go for

stools for three days continuously. Urine and stools smelled very badly.I will have skin irritation
7.Tremors in hands. Ex: if i hold a glass of water. It will shake. Low stamina
8.I feel unnecessary emotion when discussing with people
9. If i stopped all these substances for some days, it will be fine
10. Mine is a oily face. I will get heat boils/pimples on my ***,scrotum and face frequently.
11. One more important thing : I will have heat boils in my under arms/ armpits. some times when i abuse more, they appear. iF i stop for some days, they will slowly disappear. But i feel 2 such things permanently under my right arm pit. I downt know wether they are boils or cysts

Now iam willing to leave all these habits and recover from the ill eIffects.. am afraid some thing is going wrong and want to

have a thorough medical check up , treatment and proper education and councelling.Please tell me how to go about it.  
Blank
1217648_tn?1266555743
Dear Slas
Your symptoms can not be taken lightly in view of weight loss and Positive family history of cancer. Crohn's / Ulcerative colitis; Coeliac sprue; Malabsorption due to other causes are some of the possibilties but  coz you have diffuse lymphadenopathy I suspect Lymphoms (NHL), or if you are from asia then Tuberculosis. Please consult your doctor for colonoscopy and Lymph node bopsy / FNAC
Best wishes
Dr Tewari
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
From very fit to very sick!
I'm a 43 yr old woman. I'm in good health. I do have COPD and it hasnt effected my life much.
I was new to going to the gym. I went for almost 2 months and was very fit. I ate simple foods as always: rice/potato, meat, salad, veg. I don't eat cookies, fried, fast food or junk.
I noticed a loose bowel movement a month ago. I was not that concerned. A week went by and it was the same. The parties I had attended served alcohol 4 times within a 2 week period. My tummy rumbled after one drink. I have not drank since. (Im not a drinker.) My stomach was so loud other people heard it. I've not felt the same since.
3 weeks in, I was tested negative for parasites. I was tested for C-diff. I am worried that I have stomach cancer. 3 weeks of only clear food/soup and tea. Lost 8 lbs, now 120. After probiotic yogurt, daily probiotic drink, banana, for 1 week, on week 4 the stool is better but not great. Better formed less yellow and tiny.
I tried to eat eggs today, but it was back to the stabbing stomach pains after food is consumed. Its been a month of this. What should I test for? Why would a normally healthy woman get sick after working out for 2 months and getting fit? Why did I go from a healthy person who ate anything, to someone who can't eat solid food for a month? My stomach hurts and I'm very week all of the time. I've never been so weak.
Blank
1217648_tn?1266555743
Dear Canadagirl
Loss of weight with inability to tolerate food and loose stool definately suggests some organic pathology but it is just not possible to make a diagnosis based on your history alone. I sugest you see your dcotor.
Can you provid me some more information? Have u ever had blood/ mucus in stool, Nausea or vomiting, general symptoms like fever/ night sweats/ or lumps any where in body (neck or underarms), where exactly you gat pain in abdomen (upper or lower part), Pain how much time after meals, any relief of pain after passing stools?
Best wishes
Dr Tewari (India)
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I thank you for your time in responding to my email.
My own Dr. has been away for 1 month and is due back next week. I have been seeing a Dr. who knows me, but not as well. Im also confident in his care.
I am concerned that I need to address some illness in my body/stomach in a timely fashion, and that I need further testing now that we're ruled out a parasite.
I was really healthy. I'm confused. I'm so intolerant to most food now in the last 4 weeks.
Answers to your questions:
No blood or mucus in stool.
A bit of nausea at the beginning of this illness, now 2 weeks ago.
No pain in underarms.
Night sweats I've had for 3 years. Some nights I change my shirt 4 or 5 times. It only comes on in certain months. It's very strange...funny you asked about it.
The pain in my abdomen is exactly in my stomach itself. Mostly in the very center and often on each side of the small stomach. I also get stabbing pains in the upper small intestine, the area just ACROSS in a straight line just under my ribcage.
Pain when I eat? When? Right after I eat a small bit of food, if it's solid food.
I can eat homemade soups and yogurt.
No pain and no relief after the stools. I wake up feeling like I gotta go right away, that's new for me as well.
I don't understand it, but I thank you for your time and suggestions. I may see the Dr. who is on call tomorrow until my Dr. comes back. Its been 4 weeks of feeling ill and not getting anywhere and nothing is changing for the better, but not getting much worse either.
Thank you again.
Blank
1217648_tn?1266555743
Dear Canadian girl,
You require Ultrasound and upper/ Lower GI endoscopy (with biopsy) and some basic blood test (hemogram etc.) . Till the time your doctor is back take prilosec (20 mg) before meals, once a day.
Good luck
Dr Tewari
Blank
1226792_tn?1267899658
Hi, I am a 35 year old female who just two days ago had an EGD and Colonoscopy for upper abdominal pain and discomfort (burning, bloating) not helped with antacids such as Prilosec or Nexium. The tests found two tiny colon polyps and one large stomach polyp all removed and biopsied. the doctor ordered an upper abdominal ultrasound (I do not have my gallbladder) and a follow up visit in 4 weeks. This seems like a long time to wait on results. I have been so tired lately and so uncomfortable with my GI pain. My question is: Is it common for someone my age to have stomach and colon polyps and is it any cause for concern? Should I be worried about cancer with the polyps?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have abdominal pain on the below my left side below the ribs. Sometimes i feel also back side.The pain is not constant but goes on and off. I have undergone Ultra sound and endoscopy. The reports are normal.  The doctor gave me some pain killers. The pain vanished for some days. There is no specific time for the pain. But i have noticed that if i stand for long or sometimes walk for long i start the pain - that to not all the time. The pain is not strong but bearable. But i want to be free from the pain.
Also doctor i am married for the last 3 years and i want to start a family. Will this pain create any problem for me. Please help.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
On monday I had lower abdominal cramping and pain, I went for a CT scan and the results for my appendix was fine.  My cramping continued, and now I have chest pain from the middle of my chest to the right and in my back.  When I eat the pain gets worse and I feel like I can't catch my breath.  Today (Friday) I went for an ultrasound of my gall bladder, and they didn't say anything to me, so I am guessing it was all good.  I just drank water and I got pain again.  I have also been constipated since Sunday and even then I just had a little bit of diarreha. I have gone to my doctor's office twice now and an ultrasound and CT scan done.  I have tried laxitives for the constipation and stool softners as well as a fiber drink.  I am so depressed from not knowing what is going on with me, I am crying at work and everything.  I am 25 years old, in good shape, and health, this is kiiling me
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
On monday I had lower abdominal cramping and pain, I went for a CT scan and the results for my appendix was fine.  My cramping continued, and now I have chest pain from the middle of my chest to the right and in my back.  When I eat the pain gets worse and I feel like I can't catch my breath.  Today (Friday) I went for an ultrasound of my gall bladder, and they didn't say anything to me, so I am guessing it was all good.  I just drank water and I got pain again.  I have also been constipated since Sunday and even then I just had a little bit of diarreha. I have gone to my doctor's office twice now and an ultrasound and CT scan done.  I have tried laxitives for the constipation and stool softners as well as a fiber drink.  I am so depressed from not knowing what is going on with me, I am crying at work and everything.  I am 25 years old, in good shape, and health, this is kiiling me
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Intestinal pains was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, IBS or more? was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
7 hrs ago by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank