Dad with type 2 diabetes, 77 yrs old, loss of balance and fell, over several weeks with increasing frequency while standing or walking, initially family physician directed to hospital for further evaluation/root cause determination.
Hospital Dr. prescribed Meclizine, thinking it was due to inner ear problem, and ordered/performed tests - MRI of Head, Renal sonogram, CT of abdomen and pelvis, CA19-9 blood test.
Renal sonogram results:
- kidneys normal,
- abdominal aorta normal,
- vena cava normal,
- multiple lesions throughout liver. Therefore, dr. recommended and performed further evaluation via elective CT of the abdomen and pelvis.
CT of abdomen and pelvis results:
- multiple parenchymal lung
- multiple hypodense lesions throughout the liver
- pancreas = focal hypodensity of the body and tail
- kidneys are normal
Blood test CA19-9 performed. Results, = 73 (not less than desired level of 35 or less). Indicator for pancreatic cancer.
Appointment made at cancer center.
Since 3 days later, no improvement in loss of balance and halucinatiins began - therefore, Meclizine was discontinued. Loss of balance attributed to likely cancer by family physician (and later this conclusion was supported as likely by oncologist at cancer center).
Cancer center visit - looked at hospital test results, did additional blood work (tests, results?), resulting in thoughts that likely root cause = pancreatic cancer that spread to liver and lung.
Non-smoker past 10 years, smoker for decades prior - potentially explaining lung nodules?
Many medications post 55 for cholesterol (including Lipitor) and diabetes treatment - potentially explaining liver lesions?
Cancer not definitively concluded - liver biopsy
was next step to conclude, but fear of rapid cancer spread leading to death from test/tissue extraction witnessed for others in similar circumstances.
Loss of balance increasing in frequency, bed ridden duration increasing significantly last 5 weeks. Currently, most of day and night bed ridden (and actually sleeping) due to tiredness. Awake ~7 am for ~1 hour, awake 11 am for 1-2 hours, awake 4 pm for ~2 hours.
1. How to definitively determine root cause for loss of balance?
2. how to proceed with treatment for health improvement without biopsy and likely pancreatic cancer?