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I have a question regarding pancreatic cancer. For the past…

I have a question regarding...
I have a question regarding pancreatic cancer. For the past two and a half years, I have had pain in my upper left rib cage on and off. In fall of 2015, I had an abdominal CT scan and an ultrasound. Then a colonoscopy which revealed diverticulosis and a large benign colon polyp. The pain in my left ribcage has continued on and off. A year ago in February 2017, I had severe stomach pain and ended up in Urgent Care, where they did another CT with contrast, which revealed nothing unusual. Then in June, I broke a rib (I have broken many and been diagnosed with osteopenia), and my doctor ordered another abdominal ultra sound and CT with contrast to check for tumors on my ribs, and this again showed nothing abnormal. She also ordered bloodwork including the CA-19, and that was normal. Now the pain has returned and my back hurts as well. The pain remains in the left rib cage area, and now wraps around under my arm and my mid back on the left side really hurts. I had blood work done last week - a CMP and all was normal. However, a coworker mentioned that her aunt had pancreatic cancer and her first symptoms were back ache and rib pain. I am not jaundiced and my bilirubin was normal. I have not lost weight, and my appetite is fine.So, my question is: Can pancreatic cancer present as just back pain and left abdominal pain, and not other symptoms? And would my many test results from the past two year rule out pancreatic cancer, or are those too old now? What test would I have to rule it out? My doctor said I should have another ultrasound, but I have read that ultrasounds do not detect pancreatic cancer very well. I just had my lipase and amalyse tested, and they were normal.I guess I'm wondering what causes the pain in pancreatic cancer and how fast the tumors could grow? Could one have grown enough between last June and now to be causing painful symptoms?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 37,787
Experience: MBBS MS (Surgery)
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Welcome to Just Answer.
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It is rare for pancreatic cancer to just present as back and rib pain.

With all your investigations, missing pancreatic cancer is not likely.

If there was pancreatic cancer, your blood work would have been abnormal.

You may get Upper GI endoscopy and HIDA scan for your symptoms. This can be due to gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or poorly or non functioning gall bladder.

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.

Thanks for using Just Answer.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Would an ultrasound be accurate enough to see if there was pancreatic cancer?Also, could cancer develop to the point of causing pain in 9 months, as I had the last CT 9 months ago?

For big pancreatic cancers, ultrasound can detect them.

If pancreatic cancer is big enough to cause pain, there are other symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss, jaundice, accompanied invariably.

It is privilege assisting you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
pain is not usually the first symptom of pancreatic cancer? I also got my second Prolia shot for osteoporosis two weeks ago. Could that cause this type of pain?

Yes, Prolia can cause this pain.

Pain in pancreatic cancer comes when it is far advanced.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if the ultrasound is normal, can I stop worrying about pancreatic cancer?

Yes, if ultrasound is normal, it would be good enough evidence of normalcy.

It is privilege assisting you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Many thanks.

You are very welcome.

Was this information helpful to you? I would be glad to answer any further questions.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Just a followup Dr. I had an abdominal ultrasound today and it was normal. Can I stop worrying about pancreatic cancer now? Is that a good test to rule it out?

Yes, sure it is a good test.

You should not worry.

There is no basis of your worry.

Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 37,787
Experience: MBBS MS (Surgery)
Verified
Dr. Arun Phophalia and 87 other Oncology Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
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