Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Doctor told me I had a ganglion on finger - now suspected cancer!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 15, 2008
  • 10:10 AM

Hi all - I'm hoping someone can say they had a simliar story to me or indeed throw light on what's happening to me! I've searched the forums and couldn't find anything exactly like this. I'll try to keep it brief :)

I'm female, from the UK, 41 yrs, and pretty healthy generally. About 2 years ago I noticed a lump on the palm surface of the middle section of the long finger on my left hand. About two years ago, I banged that part of my finger quite badly on a hard surface and had a sudden shooting pain down my arm, making me rub the middle section of finger. That was when I noticed a pea-sized lump there. My initial reaction was that I'd bruised finger and it would go away. About 9 months, maybe a year later, the lump was still there and seemed to be bigger. It hurt sometimes. I went to my family doctor and she said it was a ganglion cyst and to leave it. If it got really annoying then it could be aspirated but may come back. So I just put up with it but it continued to get a little bigger and the pain became more frequent.

Fast forward about 15 months to January this year and, having moved house, I asked my new family doctor about the lump. He said it was a ganglion cyst and he could drain it for me if I liked. I said yes and so a week later, he stuck in a big needle and tried to syringe off the fluid. But there was no fluid. It was pretty solid. So he referred me to an orthopaedic hand surgeon. This doctor suggested it was a 'giant cell tumor of the tendon sheath' - usually benign but it would need surgery to come out. I told him about me banging my hand but he thought that was more a way of me discovering the lump, rather than the cause. He also sent me for a hand MRI.

I had the MRI last week, which came back 'inconclusive'. According to the report, they now can't rule out a sarcoma but the images weren't of a very good quality. They were sent off to a specialist orthopaedic oncology centre for review and now that team wants to see me next week. Of course, I am absolutely panicking now - having been told twice that is was just a ganglion cyst AND having it stuck randomly by a big needle!

BUT - and I've not mentioned this to any doctors because I've only just recalled this incident and I'm sure they'll think I'm desperate and seeking a 'convenient' explanation - I do recall stabbing a finger on my left hand pretty badly with a sharp knife while cooking - this was a while ago now and certainly before my lump appeared. I'm pretty sure it was this particular finger in the middle section that got injured. It was a clean deep puncture wound and bled a lot. I couldn't stand to move finger much that day and kept it extended with a tight sticking plaster around it. Later, I recall a bluish bruise around puncture site. Until now, I'd completely forgotten it. Family members confirm the injury as I was cooking for them!

Could I have injured the tendon? Could this be a long term infection or scar tissue build up? Apparently the MRI showed a 'tail' of this lump extending right down the finger to where it meets the palm. Does scar tissue continue to grow/build up even after 2 years? Could it have extended that far down my finger? I am a writer and CONSTANTLY type - all day long! - and so my poor middle finger never gets a rest. There's no clicking and movement is a little impaired now in that I can't fully straighten finger. It's pretty swollen and hurts more when the weather's hot. Basically, if I were to draw a face on the tip of my finger, it would look like a pregnant woman!!

Having said I'd keep this post short, I haven't! If anyone can help, I'd be so grateful. I have an appointment with oncology next Tuesday, which seems like a year away, and I guess they'll want more tests etc.

Thank you for reading and your time.

Very best,

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