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Unresolved issues question

imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

So, I would like a little information from the members here. I have two questions and looking for a little insight.
First, background;I'm male 47 yrs. old. I post on the colorectal boards here as I have stage II rectal cancer. I was diagnosed last November and went through a battery of diagnostic testing through the staging process. The tests included 3 CTs, MRI, PET, endoscopic ultrasound, reg. ultrasound, various x-rays, various scopes and regular blood work. Along the way it was discovered I had enlarged Lymph nodes throughout my body and they all had increased uptake on the PET scan. They thought it could be Lymphoma or Rectal cancer. First node biopsy done in groin area showed no cancer.Four months later, second node biopsy in arm pit showed no cancer. Docs recommend to "keep an eye on this issue". For personal reasons I delayed treatment for seven months then went ahead with recomended six weeks Chemo/Radiation but postponed surgery. Throughout the nine months following diagnosis I experienced many odd symptoms such as easy bruising, low blood counts in all categories, night sweats, very low body temp., swelling in legs and other short lived symptoms most of which have resolved themselves. While on Chemo I had minimal side effects and afterward felt better than I have in years. Prior to treatment I changed diet and lifestyle resulting in a fifty-five pound weight loss. Now, 11 months after initial diagnosis I have new concerns. I, prior to treatment, used to have a couple areas of psoriasis that cleared up (from the chemo?). Now I have new areas. I have psoriasis on both elbows, rash type itching on both upper arms, a spot of psoriasis on one knee, rough skin(occasional itching) on upper shoulder. I also have increased fatigue, a "crawling skin"/ tingling neorological issue between shoulder blades, occassional neck pain and shooting pains throughout abdomen and chest. I have read where many of these symptoms can be related to Lymphoma (as well as other problems) but my Lymph node issue is as yet unresolved. (Along with a very easy,although intentional, loss of fifty-five pounds in seven months)
So my question is what tests were done that ultimately confirmed lymphoma in any of you? What tests should I request be done to determine positively yes or no?
Also, did any of you experience bouts of psoriasis earlier in life? I read there are some links between that and lymphoma.
Sorry about the long post. Thanks for your help.

tcvine's picture
Posts: 174
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Chris and welcome.

Congratulations on your apparent success in fighting your rectal cancer.

As you probably know by now, lymphoma can have a large number of symptoms - or none. In my case I had no symptoms until a large lump appeared on my lower neck.

Upon removal and biopsy of that tumor, I was diagnosed with diffuse, large, B-cell lymphoma, stage 4.

As far as I know, the ONLY way to diagnose lymphoma with any certainty is via a physical biopsy. It sounds like you've done that a couple of times. At least for those tissues that were tested, there was no lymphoma. That's good news, but I hope that you have swift success in getting a correct diagnosis for your symptoms.

Tom (DLBCL-4-7/10)

dixiegirl's picture
Posts: 1043
Joined: Apr 2006

I didn't have a lot of symptoms really. Weight loss, nightsweats, and found 3 lumps in my left groin. I was diagnosed after excisional biopsy. What actually got me to the doc were the lumps. I didn't know what was going on with the weight loss and the nightsweats I took for menopause related.

Hopefully they'll figure out what's going on with you. But I agree, congrats on doing well with rectal cancer. Any positive step forward is a great one.

Take care,
LPL/MALT/Follicular stage 3 (4/7/2006)

imagineit2010's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jan 2010

Thanks Tom & Beth for your input. At my consult with second surgeon after treatment he actually mentioned "complete response" as the tumor was no longer detectable. Unfortunatly, a radical surgery is still recomended for my best chance at a "cure". I am only postponing it because of all these other symptoms I've been having that they say are "most likely" unrelated to the rectal cancer. Then what are they from??? I hate that many docs only like to treat symptoms once they are clearly from SOMETHING rather than investigate possible causes and THINK ahead instead of just react.... Oh well....

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