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Cancer

Nodules All Over My Body

12/16/2009

Question:

I am a 32 yr. old Korean female and a mother of 3 beautiful young children (5,3 and 2). Please stick with me because this has been a long 6 mths. of tests and meeting with several doctors. I`m scared, emotionally and physically drained so I would like any suggestions, ideas and hopefully some answers.

I have not had many health issues in the past, but since the middle of June, 2009 I have been sent from doctor to doctor and still I have no answers.

In June, 2009 I found a lump on the back of my neck. I thought that it was just a muscle knot so I didn`t think anything of it. Then at the end of June I found a lump in my right breast. I watched it for about 2 wks and finally decided to go in because I had found 3 more lumps in the same breast. My doctor had me get a mamography, ultrasound and a breast MRI (w/ and w/out contrast). The mamogram and ultrasound showed fibrocystic tissue/change and the MRI showed no abnormalities. I was relieved to hear that!

Then a week later I started getting a side ache on my left rib area, my lower back swelled up and there were several more lumps that appeared in the same breast, my lower back had several small lumps and there was a lump on my left rib. I then decided it was making me uncomfortable so I started going to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. They ran several tests which consisted of blood work, EKG, chest x-ray and an ultrasound of my breasts. All the tests came back normal.

In July, 2009 I started getting neck stiffness and aches. My thyroid was enlarged and still is, but the blood tests came back normal. My doctor never had me do a thyroid ultrsound nor did he do a biopsy of it either. I have had an enlarged thyroid for almost 5 months. There are also swollen lymph nodes in my neck as well which have all been there for 5 mths. as well. None of these come and go... They just stay the way they are, but sometimes I get stabbing pains in the nodule areas.

August, 2009 I found a small pea sized lump under my left armpit, several on my shins, inner and outer thighs, hips, arms, face, head and stomach. All my lumps are under the skin which are not visible, but palpable.

I have had 2 biopsies done and both of them turned out to be benign, but they were 2 different things. One was a Lipoma with organized fatty necrosis and the other one was a hemangioma. the next 2 mths. consists of meeting with many different doctors and having examinations done. Everything is coming out normal.

October, 2009 I started getting ice pick headaches, bad stomach pains, painful intercourse, nausea (vomited a couple of times), something like a hot flash because I would start getting really warm and sweaty for no apparent reason. The doctor had me do a brain MRI and an abdominal/pelvic CT scan.

Brain MRI came back normal. The CT scan had several findings listed... Bilateral ovarian follicles or cysts. Small amount of free fluid in the dependent portion of the pelvis. Heterogeneous enlargement of the uterus may be due to underlying fibroids. Adenomyosis would be an additional possibility and further characterization with MRI or dedicated pelvic ultrasound would be beneficial. Degenerative dixc disease at the lumbosacral junction. Benign sclerosis in the T10 vertebral body. I don`t know what any of this really means so could someone help me to understand my results?

The doctor just sent me a letter with all of this and never stated what I needed to do. I tried calling him and he told me that there wasn`t anything wrong and that he doesn`t need to see me anymore.

I`m scared that I may have some type of cancer. I`m confused. It`s been 6 months of this and I still have no idea what is wrong with me. I understand that people do get benign nodules of some sort during a lifetime... but several different types all at the same time range? I have close to 100 nodules and inflamation throughout my body and still getting more.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy New Year! May the Lord bless you and your families!

Kindest Regards.

Answer:

It seem that you can be reassured that what you are experiencing is not cancer or a serious illness, as you have seen multiple specialists and no cancer or other disease has been found. If exams have been performed, areas have been biopsied, and lab work is normal, then there is no sign of cancer and there should be little or no cause for worry. Sometimes anxiety disorders or depression cause us to notice small abnormalities and then to worry excessively about them. Perhaps seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist is the next step if all medical conditions have been excluded.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University