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Scared myself - hypochondria?

Kodiak87
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2015

First of all let me say my admiration for the courage you all posses has left a lasting impression.

 

I am not sure what I'm doing here, but Dr. Google led me here while googling. I tend to be obsessive over any research whether it be buying a vehicle or health. I guess I'm just looking for opinions from been there-done that folks as I have scared the crap out of myself.

I am a healthy(as far as I know) 27 year old male. I get physicals every two years and chest xrays every 5 through work and nothing remarkable has popped up.

12 days ago I woke up after a gym trip where I deadlifted. I had lower left back pain, left flank pain, and left testicle pain. Not unbearable but certainly noticable. Maybe a 3-4/10. left Testicle pain was constant and the back pain seemed to be positional or made worse by movement. As far as my testicle--I noticed a large varicose vein in my scrotum. I WANT to say I had a small Varicocele before but it was definitley not this obvious. I've had pretty significant vericose veins in my legs since adolescence but the scrotum issue was definitely not noted.

9 days ago after no relief and obvious concern I report to an urgent care. Urinalysis is unremarkable and he diagnoses me with a grade 3 Varicocele. Refers me to a urologist for further which as I understand is not uncommom for a vericose vein "down there."

So naturally I google and find that a sudden development of a Varicocele can indicate a renal tumor due to compression of a vein. It's more so indicative if the varicocele does not deflate when laying down. Mine decreases probably 80% but is still detectable when laying flat. It's large so I don't know if it's a reasonable expectation to have it reduce 100% when flat.

So 4 days ago I go see a young urologist who does urinalysis and Brief physical exam. She tells me back pain can be referred to testicle and that varicoceles are no big deal and she doubts my pain is from it but instead a back strain. I inquire about cancer and she  says she doesn't have X-ray vision but that it's highly unlikely. She wants a scrotum ultrasound to see severity of varicocele and agreed to order a renal ultrasound for my mental health at my request.

So now I am 12 days into this and my testicle pain has all but resolved. left-lower back pain made worse by certain movement is still there but improved since I noticed it. I still have an intermittent rear-left flank pain near my ribs made worse by some movements but it is also intermittently there at rest. Feels like a sideaChe from gym class. im not sure if I'm hyper aware of little twinges that would otherwise go unnoticed or if something is wrong. I even went as far as to have a nephrologist friend feel my kidneys and he felt nothing obvious but said that didn't mean anything.

My ultrasounds are tuesday and I've googled and read myself insane. I have a young wife and one year old son that I need to be here for. While I understand that few, if any of you are physicians I also have gathered that many of you know what you're talking about on this subject.  Id appreciate any input, positive or negative as even typing this out has helped my nerves.

respectfully,

 

kodiak

Typed on an iphone, pardon any mistakes 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allochka's picture
Allochka
Posts: 894
Joined: Nov 2014

Hello,

unfortunately I can't comment on testicular pain (I'm female), and I don't know anything about connection between varicocele and kidney tumors. 

But I fully understand your emotional distress, and it does sound like hypochondria. I was kinda hypochondriac myself. it suddenly appeared 4 years ago after loss of my first pregnancy. And it was terrible. Just like you said - being totally convinced about some terminal condition, googling symptoms non-stop... This is not the way to live.. I accepted that I have health anxiety and started to fight it. Got much better, however I must admit my fiance'c kidney cancer diagnosis brought some of the anxiety back.

so as a former hypochondriac, I ask you - please stop Googling. It will make things worse. Dr. Google is notorious for diagnosing everything as cancer. Wait for your ultrasound - 2 days to go are not much. 99% that everything will be ok. If not - you'll deal with it, as everybody on this board. Kidney tumor is not the end of the world. 

Most important - after docs tell you all is OK, believe them and don't fall into further hyochondria traps.

I bet you are physically fine. But healt anxiety is abvious, so stop before it becomes full blown and steals your life!

good luck,

Alla

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mar 2014

My husband has had a vericocele in his testicle since his early 20s. He's now in his early 60s and never had any problems with his kidneys benign or or otherwise. I'm sure yours is not due to a kidney tumor either but as said above, the ultrasound will put your mind at ease. Google is a great tool but it can drive you bonkers. Been there, done that, and still do it, lol.

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

If you want total peace of mind, ask for a CT scan. Varicole has been noted in kidney cancer patients. So is flank pain. You are young and if this cancer is at it's earliest stages it can be CURABLE with surgery. Yes, that's righ. Curable. Push to get a CT since you are experiencing flank pain. Ultrasound won't pick up very early kidney cancer, but a CT scan is. I think you have been given a gift with this pain from deadlifting, since it will allow you to get tests and rule out anything.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3247
Joined: Jan 2010

Kodiak,

At least that is what it sounds like to me. Like kidney cancer not fun. At 27 it is highly unlikely that you will become eligible for our club. The ultarsound will show any suspiciou mass which if one appears will likely be followed by a CT. We hope that after your test there is no reason to see and hear from you again. In the unlikely event you somehow become eligible for this board we will help you thru this. If they will give you a CT to start with, push for it. Good luck.

 

 

Icemantoo

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mar 2014

This NIH study abstract may put your mind at ease until you have your ultrasound.

“Abstract

A scrotal varicocele is a common finding during both a scrotal clinical examination or during the course of a scrotal ultrasound examination and invariably found in the left hemiscrotum. Traditionally when a scrotal varicocele is found, the referring clinician requests a renal ultrasound examination or the sonographer extends the examination to include a renal examination; to exclude a retroperitoneal or renal tumour as the cause for the varicocele. The present article examines the relevance of performing the extended ultrasound examination by reviewing the pathophysiological pathways for the development of a varicocele in the presence of a renal or retroperitoneal tumour; the prevalance of co-existing renal or retroperitoneal tumours and a varicocele; and the male population in whom this extended examination may be necessary. The conclusion from available evidence suggests that a retroperitoneal tumour will manifest in other ways before the development of a varicocele, the young patient with a varicocele will almost never have a retroperitoneal tumour, and only when a varicocele develops in an older patient will an extended examination be relevant. Even then it will be a rare finding and there will be other clinical manifestations of the primary tumour.”

The key point is that in young people a varicocele is almost never cause by a renal tumor. In older people, yes, the extended examination is warranted.

 

Another study said only 2 percent of all kidney cancer is accompanied by varicoceles. So while it happens, the odds are definitely in your favor.

Not saying don’t go for further testing; you absolutely should. But the chance of it being kidney cancer is very slim according to this study so hopefully it’ll let you rest a little easier until the tests are over.

Kodiak87
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2015

Thanks to all for the informative replies. I realize I'm probably just paranoid. If I didn't have the flank pain with the Varicocele id probably feel better. reading here that several men had testicular pain as a symptom didnt help either.

once again, I admire everyone here and I've read multiple pages of threads. Thanks for the replies.

I will keep you posted.

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Kodiak,

Your doctor is correct hat it is highly unlikely. It sounds  ike you may have damaged something in the dead lift; a very easy exercise to injure yourself with. I know if the form is even a little off it can really mess you up. 

Honestly I wouldn't get overly worked up man. Let's go to the worst case scenario: it's cancer. At your age I'm certain it will have been caught early and surgery will pretty much fix the problem. I'm 36 I was diagnosed back in October when I was 35, caught early, removed the kidney and now no problems. 98% chance it won't come back. You will most likely be in the same boat as me. But the chances that is cancer are pretty low. 

Just take it one step at a time and get the ultrasound first. They found my initial tumor pretty easily with it, then they bumped it up to an MRI after they saw it to get a better look at it. The ultrasound will find it unless it's really small (and it wouldn't be if it were already causing varicocele, I think). Just because a couple symptoms match cancer symptoms doesn't mean it's cancer. WebMD tells you that you have the bubonic plague with a headache. 

- Jay

Kodiak87
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2015

Thanks for the encouragement

Kodiak87
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2015

Update: ultrasounds done. She spent signficantry more time and took

more pics of the left, including having me hold a deep breath which she did not do on the right. 

 

Naturally im more scared now. Of course she gave zero feedback.  This feeling sucks

APny's picture
APny
Posts: 1976
Joined: Mar 2014

It's always nerve wrecking waiting for results. But since you complained of left flank, testicle, and back pain it makes sense that they'd spend more time and detail on that side.

jason.2835
Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2014

Kodiak,

I certainly remember my first ultrasound... When she flipped me over to look at the left side, I was then looking straight at the screen and I saw my kidney and my tumor but didn't really know it yet.  She did spend a long amount of time taking pictures but I had no idea that the tumor on the screen was something out of the ordinary.  I didn't really think too much of it because I was technically there to get an ultrasound on my gallbladder; I was actually surprised when she told me she was going to look at my left kidney.  For a while I thought the US tech had done something unusual and saved my life.  But later I found out that my doctor's office had written down a complete abdominal US rather than just the liver/gallbladder area which is more common.  

It was a string of happy "accidents" and luck that turned me into a Stage 1 patient today rather than a Stage 3 or 4 tomorrow.  At worst, you will be in the same boat and it's far better to catch it now than 10 years from now.  Count your blessings.

- Jay 

sblairc's picture
sblairc
Posts: 586
Joined: Feb 2014

Isn't that the side you were having difficulty with? I would think that would be the side with more info needed. I try not to read into anything tech's say. 

 

My husband went to a CT scan for his follow up after cancer and the Tech asked him "Will you be meeting with your doctor soon?" FREAKED THE CRAP OUT OF US!! Turned out to be a clear scan, and a horrible way of the tech making small talk. 

I also went for a thyroid ultrasound one time and the tech said "you'll want to talk with your doctor about this spot" and the doctor called me and said "all good." The report had no significant findings when reviewd by the radiologist and the doctor. 

Footstomper's picture
Footstomper
Posts: 1238
Joined: Dec 2014

Not experts. At my first scan, prior to diagnosis, the tech greeted me with the words, "Is this your first time with cancer?"

I guess thats one way to find out.

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