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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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Christmas 2006 I was taking a physical inventory and finally

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Christmas 2006 I was taking a physical inventory and finally accepted that I was a heart attack waiting to happen. I was 59 years old, 6'4" and weighed 315lbs. My diet consisted of common sense. I simply stopped using salt and cut my sugar intake to as small as possible. I had absolutely no nibbling in-between meals and I tried to focus on eating more fruit and vegetables. It worked. Over the next number of months the pounds dropped with regularity and I presently weigh 235lbs. Approximately 18 months ago I tripped and had to have a partial hip replacement. Recuperation seemed to be going well, then everything stopped. For some time I've been dealing with chronic pain. Over the last 6 months I've noticed I'm losing muscle mass in both arms and have nicks and scratches on both forearms that don't heal very well. I think I might have cancer. I have a new family doctor that I trust, but how should I address the issues I've shared and not sound like a drama king?

Hello and thank you for your question.

Could you please tell me why you think you have cancer and of what specific organ do you think you have cancer of?

Have you had a recent blood test for a physical?

Thank you,


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Julia,

I would have put this in the original question, but I was running out of room.

I've read that when someone easily gets nicks and scratches that bleed and they take a long time in healing maybe a sign of a pre-cancerous condition. I'm also have a harder and harder time holding my weight constant. To keep between 235 to 240lbs I eat a lot, and I mean a lot. This last statement is really unscientific. My father died of colo-rectal cancer and I remember how he kept losing muscle mass especially in his forearms and upper chest.


Thank you for your reply Walt,

Have you had any blood in your stool? Is your appetite down? Any cough? Any trouble swallowing?

When was your last physical exam with blood work and when was your last colonoscopy?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I think you just gave me my answer. I need to have these things done, but I also know I'm scared to death to say cancer to my doctor. (There is also a secondary issue. I will have hospitalization benefits for only one more month. However that's another story.)

Having family history of colon cancer puts you at a higher risk for developing one so if you have not had a recent colonoscopy (less then 5 years ago), you need to have one done before your benefits expire.

Unless you have rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits, I highly doubt you have developed colon cancer.

You should not be scared of the word cancer...most cancers, if found early, are treatable and curable but at 63, you need to have routine blood tests done as well as a thorough physical examination, including a rectal exam.

Easy bruising is not a sign of cancer, you do not need to worry about it. Weight loss, although somewhat worrisome, does not necessarily mean cancer either. There are other conditions that can cause weight loss (such as over-active thyroid gland).

So, of course, cancer is a possibility, but its a long shot in the dark. You do need to have a full physical exam with blood work and, definitely, a colonoscopy.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions you might have.

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Best wishes and good luck,


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