Greetings! I hope someone can calm my fears that I may have developed cancer.
First, some information on my lifestyle: I am an (until now) healthy 37-yo male - I have never had any health problems, apart from occasionally going to the dentist for the usual procedures. I never smoked - actively or passively, never did drugs, and I am a moderate drinker (beer and wine). I lead a rather sedentary life (office work), though I do walk a lot and I recently started to go at a swimming pool. I am just a little overweight (BMI 26.9), with "central obesity" (beer belly) - up until 7 years ago I had a normal BMI. Food-wise, I tend not to eat my vegetables that much (they are not absent altogether though). So, in terms of health style, I am your Average Joe.
In terms of family history of cancer - my mother died of breast cancer in her early 60s; her father died of stomach cancer (to the best of my knowledge) in his late 70s; her grandfather (the father of her mother) died of stomach cancer in his late 60s - he blamed it on having starved as a war prisoner. On my father's side, my grandmother apparently had colon surgery (I cannot recall - unlikely to have been cancer), and her father died of lung cancer in his 70s (he was a heavy smoker). Cancer is, as one can see, a leading cause of death in my family, yet not among young people.
My symptoms - in chronological order, not in order of importance - may not be related to each others:
- Since February, I have a slight annoyance when swallowing saliva - there is a cracking sound and a clicking sensation in my Adam's apple that won't go away.
- Since mid-March, I have annoying, mild, flashing pains inside my abdomen, on both sides - that come and go.
- Since mid-May, I have mild pains in my right knee every time when raising from a squatting position.
- At the beginning of June, I felt a mild pain in my right leg and right testicle, for several days.
- Also, at that time, I started to have very soft stools, followed by normal stools. No visible blood present (either red or melena). There is occasional mucus, though.
- I went to my GP, who told me I may have irritable bowel, and she referred me to an internal medicine specialist. I also asked her to refer me to a urologist.
- In mid-June, I started to have mild aches in my arms and legs. Many of the aches are gone now.
- Also in mid-June, I was woken up by a pain in my Xiphoid process, under the breast bone. It still hurts when touched.
- I went to see the urologist, who examined my testicles (the pain was gone by that time) and had an ultrasound of my abdomen, saying that my kidneys, prostate, bladder, liver, etc, look OK
- Since mid-to-late June, I developed a dry cough and shortness of breath. I feel I cannot breath in to my fullness, and when I breathe out, I feel like I need to cough. I have no fever, no sneezing, no sore throat.
- In late June, I also saw the internal medicine specialist, who, upon interviewing me and learning of my fears of cancer, and upon listening to my lungs with a stethoscope, said I was healthy and told me that I can outgrow my fear of cancer by visiting a psychiatrist.
- Throughout June and July, I felt mild pains in my spine, who come and go.
- A few days ago, I felt pins and needles in my buttocks, for a couple of days. They went away.
- Since two days ago, my illiac crest hurts mildly when touched.
The symptoms I currently have are: sometimes diarrhea with some mucus; a one month old suffocation sensation and dry cough; very mild and inconstant pains in some bones; a one and a half month old touch-sensitive xiphoid process; flashing pains in my abdomen; Adam's apple annoyance.
While I may be a hypochondriac, that does not mean that hypochondriacs do not develop cancer!
Please, share your precious two cents with me: can it be cancer (colon? lungs?) and if not, what can it be - apart from hypochondria?