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Mets to spleen? Anybody?

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

I have not yet been diagnosed. I have a diagnostic screening mammogram and ultrasound this afternoon. Currently I'm category 0 because it was my very first mammogram that they found: 1cm mass/focal asymmetry on lower outer right breast.  I also haven't had a huge lump in my armpit for quite some time on the same side. But it was dismissed by doctors before as just aggravated muscle. The lump in my armpit has grown since I first noticed it a year ago, and is pretty big. And now it seems to be affecting my nerves I also have a biopsy on December 7th for a moke on my shoulder that has all the characteristics of superficial spreading melanoma. A B C D and E. When I showed it to my doctor about 4 weeks ago, he examined it and it instantly scheduled me for a biopsy but it was going to be 6 weeks for the biopsy. So I still have a while to wait in agony before I find out what this more my shoulder really is. Since then they discovered the mass in my breast. I went to the ER twice 4 symptoms of difficulty breathing and fatigue and night sweats along with other symptomsperiod on the first x-ray they told me my lungs were fine and sent me home with an inhaler and a steroid. Neither did anything for me. On the second visit to the ER they did a CT scan and they said that there was no abnormal tease but they said I had a cyst on my spleen that was 7.4 cm and informed me that since the last time they had done the skin, which I have no idea when that was really, that the cyst was 3.1 centimeters. So the cyst has grown 4.3 cm. I was complaining to my doctor about abdominal pain in the area and he seems worried and told me that I should not be feeling pain with a cyst. And then informed him that I had been feeling bloated in that area and while I was rubbing my tummy the way you would after you have a full meal, I discovered another mass that is hard and cigar-shaped just like the one I can feel in my breast. It is rock hard. It seems to be closer to my stomach and intestines and not the spleen. So right now there is a possibility that we have located at least one cyst and one mass and possibly I just found another Mass. When I told the doctor about this he instantly referred me for an MRI and a referral to see a blood specialist, which of course is also a cancer specialist cuz they're connected. So of course now I'm waiting for those referrals to arrive in the mail so that I can schedule appointments. Who knows how long I'll have to wait?

 

In the meantime, I have the diagnostic testing today for my breast, but because I'm going in on a holiday, today being Thanksgiving I was informed by the radiologist when I scheduled the appointment that nobody would actually be able to review the scan until Saturday at the earliest because nobody would be in Friday or Thursday for sure. So of course having to wait extra days just to have the scan red is nerve-wracking enough.

 

So basically I'm trying to find support and find out if anybody has been in my situation to where maybe they were told in the past that assist on the spleen was nothing to worry about, because I was told that twice by two different doctors at two different hospitals... And then later found out that the cyst was actually cancerous? Because based on all the information I've been reading online... Cyst of the spleen are hard to diagnose because cancerous and non-cancerous tumors and cysts themselves can have the same characteristics. That even a cancerous cyst can be filled with fluid.

 

For informational purposes these have been my symptoms. Some of them I've had for many months and some of them are new ER:

Difficulty breathing

Weightloss

Loss of appetite

Extreme fatigue

Pain everywhere - but localized to certain areas, like headache, shoulder, both arms, abdominal, and pelvic - as well as extreme pain in my lower back and up between my shoulder blades that has now turned into tingling that runs up and down my spine closer to my lungs

Itching everywhere

Moles popping up everywhere

Node and neck getting bigger but not extremely rock-hard and pea sized and shaped

Terrible night sweats - but some nights better than others where it's just a little sweat compared to nights when I've literally drenched myself and my bed

Balance issues

Concentration problems

Uncontrollable body jerks or twitching - along with what some might call restless leg syndrome and jerky eye movements

 

Anyone?

Thank you for taking the time to read this an offer me support. I of course will keep up regarding prognosis as I receive it. But in the meantime it would be nice to hear from others...

Jody

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

Is there a specific type of malignancy that is suspected? If lymphoma, it is a "liquid" cancer and flows freely throughout the body via the circulatory system - the blood and lymph. Thus, it can appear anywhere in the body. This is not an additional problem, or a metastasis in the normal sense, as lympohocytes are not associated with a particular place or organ. The chemotherapy and/or biologic drugs used to combat it also flow there, so it remains treatable at all stages. Spleen involvement (not metastasis) is common in a few lymphomas, but not all.

As to symptoms, they are not all that helpful. What doctor looks for are signs of disease. We can produce only about 150 symptoms, yet there are over 68,000 known human illnesses and conditions. Each symptom may point to over 450 different diseases, so they are not all that helpful.You may even have some form of autoimmune disease. They are knpwn to mimic various other illnesses, including cancer.

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

Curious: if it was an auto-immune disease wouldn't they be able to see that in my blood test? Or no?

 

The only update I have right now is that I went in for the diagnostic testing where they did another mammogram of my right breast and an ultrasound of the right breast, as well as an ultrasound of my armpit. Instantly they gave me the results verbally and online to the ultrasound of my armpit telling me that it was just fat deposits and that it was a common thing that women get seen for because they're worried. However they refused to give up any information regarding the breast mammogram and ultrasound, in fact, they won't even post those results online yet they've already posted the results for the normal ultrasound of my armpit online. So I find that to be a little worrisome... I guess at this point they're probably going to tell me that I need an MRI or biopsy? I do know that they listed my mammogram and ultrasound of my breast for insurance purposes as incomplete so I don't know if they've changed my by BI-RADS score and haven't told me, or if they are still classifying me as Category 0...

 

I'm 10 days away from the biopsy of the mole on my shoulder. However I need to point out a mole on my leg that I'm concerned about now that all of this is going on. I figure a dermatologist is going to be the one doing the biopsy? So I figured she would be the right person to point out the mole in my leg to just to see what she says, if nothing else? When that mole started, provided it is a mole?... It started off looking like a little red or pinkish pimple looking thing and now it's at least a quarter inch if not more and it's light pink lump with a red border. Who knows? I do appreciate everybody's help. I'm kind of a loan where I don't have a lot of family and friends and so it's nice to have a place to reach out to and talk. 

 

Idon't know if I stated this in previous comments, but my doctor was worried about the 7.4 CM Mass on my spleen and he is referring me for an MRI and a blood specialist. It's just a waiting game, I guess. However since all of this began happening I started noticing more about the exact places in my body where I feel discomfort, usually I feel the discomfort mostly after eating. And I found very hard lumps in all of those places. And I can't help but to notice that it seems to be along the lymph node path. For example one in my left arm and two in my right arm right where the lymph node path goes... And I found one underneath my spleen near my stomach, one closer to my belly button, and one in my pelvic region all on the right side. And then just a couple days ago I noticed one underneath my liver. Maybe I'm just filled with cysts? LOL But who knows. I'm going to keep pushing it and my doctor seems to be very much on my side. He did put me on antibiotics a week ago but I've noticed no change in any of the lumps including the one in my neck.

 

Thanks again for being a shoulder, everybody. You don't know how much it means to me.

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

The primary (if this is cancer) is still unknown. This all just started happening a few weeks ago when I had Dr visit and showed him a mole on my shoulder that has all the characteristics of superficial spreading melanoma.  He did not refer me to dermatologist; rather he immediately sched biopsy (which will be a 6 week wait for me by the time it comes around Dec 7th). During this visit he learned my distant relatives on mother's side has a lot of different known cancers... Father unknown (adoption).  Brother just diagnosed stage 4 rectal with Mets to liver last year. So because of the mole he sched me immediately for biopsy and referrals for mamogram, pap, and colonoscopy.  Another waiting game. My fastest appointment was for mam... But it was my first one ever. They contacted me immediately with recall for 1cm mass/focal asymmetry on outer lower right breast.  So no diagnosis or stage... just "more testing needed - inconclusive." Today is my recall appointment for diagnostic mammogram screening plus ultrasound (large mass in armpit that's been growing slowly over past year or so from time I noticed it washing in shower). That mass in armpit now affecting nerves.  At this point nobody knows what or when or where, let alone primary.  I have another very odd mole on my leg that resembles a scar (round and light pinkish with a red border) that was growing for maybe 6 years now... i didn't even think about it till all this happened with shoulder mole... I thought it was a growing scar, but since it's developed the red ring around the border I'm suspicious.  I'm no doctor and all, but MY suspicion is melanoma mets to lymph with spread to breast and other areas.  Just a gut-feeling... But I really could be told it's any number of things or benign.  Doctors poker face is one of great concern. I know I've never in my life had a doctor send me to so many specialists all at once the way he has so I suspect he suspects... He is referring me to blood specialist so that will be good... But still, again... Waiting game. I have an investigative mind-set, so I research and study... And seek out communities involved in same prospects.  Nothing set in stone... Just my investigative side reaching out to see what others experienced.  After all... a high # of spleen cancers are found at autopsy....

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

"You do not have cancer until a pathology report says you have cancer."

Honestly, a person can literally spend their entire life looking for cancer due to various symptoms. For those who do this, what they miss is life. It is good to ponder once again: 68,069 known illnesses, with thousands more that are simply unknown. 150 possible symptoms. The odds are against you having any cancer, no matter the symptoms. Still, it is good that you are checking into this.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3156
Joined: May 2012

Pink,

I agree with Po that at present your situation is simply unknown.  And, as he noted, it is all being investigated.  The many 'symptoms' and clinical results seem a bit disjointed and do not overtly point in any one direction; not your fault, of course, but just be aware of this.

Cancerous nodes usually do not "hurt," except when pressing against some other organ. I for instance had heart pain believed in the ER to be in fact a heart attack, but it was massive nodes compressing my heart itself.  The nodes themselves usually express no feeling.   Mole appearances are almost never Lymphoma-related; Lymphoma being related to any skin issues is profoundly rare in general (except in some cases itching and rash).

 I hope you share what you learn, since we here learn as much from discriptions such as yours as you learn from us.

I hope all of this stuff tests negative for any malignacies,

max

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

1) Without a diagnosis, research is counter-productive and can even be harmful to your mental state. 2) The more you search for someone in your exact situation, the more likely you are to be disappointed. 3) You are an individual. Your case, malignant or not, is absolutely unique. 4) Please allow doctor(s) to perform their diagnostic procedures, remembrering that they must isolate your condition from among 68,000+ known illnesses. 5) This can be very frustrating, but there is simply no way around the testing and waiting. 6) Symptoms which arrived after you began to suspect sometihng sinister may be caused by stress and not by a disease process. 7) Staying as busy as possible with life - unfinished projects, or beginning new ones, will help pass the waiting times. There is more, but these will allow you to remain somewhat sane during this process.

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

I'm waiting for the results of the ultrasound of my breast, but she went ahead and gave me the results of the ultrasound of my armpit right away. She informed me that the lumps in my armpit or just fat and that it's very common for women to come in with that problem. However she wouldn't give up any information about the ultrasound of my breast. I found that to be a little odd because she was willing to give up the information of my armpit but not the breast. But I'm not going to let it trouble me. She said I should have the results by Monday which is tomorrow. I'll keep you updated. But as far as the comment regarding cancerous tumors shouldn't hurt? I've read just the opposite from many women on many different sites were a huge number of women said that theirs hurt. Mine doesn't hurt at all unless I actually push on it and then I get pain like as if it's affecting nerves, not paying like as if I was pushing on an abscess that was infected. It's a different kind of pain. My doctor was concerned about my spleen because it's already known that I have a 7.4 centimeter Mass on the spleen, but he said it shouldn't be hurting and he's even more alarm when I told him that there's a hard lump next to the spleen also. I also have a hard lump down in my pelvic area and also on my intestines near my belly button. I also have a few hard lumps in both of my arms. All of these lumps feel exactly like the lump in my breast. I still believe that if this is cancer, that it's melanoma and not breast cancer. That all of these other tumors would be secondary but I can't confirm that until I have the biopsy of my shoulder on December 7th. I'm very well aware that you guys are trying to bring me comfort in this situation and so I thank you for that. Like I said I'm not saying this is fact I'm just saying that I'm not ignorant to what my symptoms are. My doctor has put me on for different pain medications as well as an antibiotic and he is referring me to a blood specialist. I'm still waiting for the referrals to come in the mail so I can schedule the appointment for the MRI of my spleen and the blood specialist. Thank you again for all your kind thoughts and reassurances. ❤

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

Why melanoma?

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

I only suspect melanoma is the primary. I have a mole on my shoulder that they have to biopsy and that was the original reason why I went in to see my primary doctor. Once I showed him the mole he immediately scheduled me for a biopsy but the soonest appointment I could get was December 7th. However once he saw the mole he instantly put me in for a mammogram, for a colonoscopy, and for a woman's check up like a Pap... So to me it's like he's screening me. Cuz that's very odd that he put in all those referrals after looking at my mole. The only reason why I know the breast information is because that was the first testing that they were able to do in the line of all the testing he wants done. So I'm not saying any of this is fact I'm just saying I speculate. You kind of know your body... There's also a second mole on my leg I completely forgot about that doesn't look very good that I explained and another reply to you above. Again, I'm not freaking out. I'm very much at ease about all of this. I'm just the type of person that wants to be prepared so there is no denial if something goes wrong. I figure who knows? Maybe they will come back and tell me I'm just filled with a bunch of sis? One person made a comment about the nodes or tumors? I can't remember the exact term they used? That they said that they would only hurt if they were pressing on organs... Will the breast one only hurts if I push it. And I believe it only hurts because then I'm grinding it into tissue Etc perhaps even muscle? Not sure how the breast is exactly designed which is pretty sad on my part LOL. As far as all the other lumps I found that are hard as a rock? They are all around vital organs or organ such as my spleen and stomach and intestines. The other one is just under my liver. If I pushed on the large node in my neck it doesn't hurt at all.

po18guy
Posts: 968
Joined: Nov 2011

At this point, without a diagnosis, and with only doctor's "concern", I think you should try to relax just a bit. I had a mole on my chest that was misshapen, brown and black, was growing and itched constantly. The university medical center dermatologist took one look and asked "How long have you had this?" Well, a few months, actually. He immediately excised it and sent it to patholgy.

The result was a dysplastic nevus and nothing more.To suspect metastatic melanoma, it is reasonable only if you have been diagnosed with a melanoma in the first place, and have had MOHS surgery and a thorough patholgical examination of the biopsy sample.

I know that you are stressed and frustrated during this time of testing and waiting, but I would certainly try to avoid giving yourself a death sentence, or looking for a cancer that you do not have. The operative phrase is: "You do not have cancer until a pathology report ssays you have cancer." To think otherwise can lead to all sorts of anxiety and additional, stress-caused symptoms. It becomes a vicious cycle.

As a practical matter, our bodies produce mutated, occasionally cancerous cells on a daily basis. Our immune systems promptly kill them. Those mutated cells are half the reason we have immune systems. 

ShadyGuy
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2017

I know that lymph nodes swollen from lymphoma are usually painless. Lumps and swollen lymph nodes are not necessarily the same thing. If you really think its melanoma you may want to post on that board too. Good luck with the ultrasound results. However that is considered a screening test only. Only biopsy is considered definitive. Of the disorders listed, lymphoma is the one you want!

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

Thank you. Yes I have posted on the melanoma board as well. I figure if it comes back cancerous then I'll start an entirely new thread and make comment on the two posts to go there for further information to help others. Otherwise, I'll just keep posting on this thread and the melanoma  thread... if it's benign I'll list that on these two posts. I started the breast post because that was the first place a mass was found. I can't do the biopsy of my mole until December 7th so I have a 10-day wait still. My diagnostic testing came back but they won't let me see the results for my breast. They're letting me see the result for my armpit and they say that's normal but they're not letting me see the result for my breast. I do know for insurance purposes they coded it as incomplete so I don't know if they've changed my bi-rads staging (and not telling me) or if they're still considering the category 0 after this second scans. Which was a mammogram and an ultrasound of the right breast. I have the ability to go online and view all my medical records and I can see the one for the armpit already but the ones for my breast they won't post yet. So I don't know what that means.

ShadyGuy
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2017

I also had several very fast growing lesions come up on my arms after treatment for FNHL stage 4. Mine turned out to be squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cells are the cells lining skin and all internal organs. This type of cancer is deadly if on internal organs but can be caused by sun exposure on the skin. Mine were all removed and so far no sign of it anywhere else. When it spreads it trnds to do so very quickly.

PinkPenguin76's picture
PinkPenguin76
Posts: 21
Joined: Nov 2017

Just got a call back from my doctor's office that the result of breast mass is BENIGN.  Now just have to wait for biopsy of the mole on the 7th and the check into what's going on with my spleen.... Thank you so much everyone for all the positive comments and insights!  One down! Still need to find out what all this other stuff going on is to make me have these symptoms... Maybe spleen needs to come out and it's infected?  Who knows. But... ONE DOWN.

 

I'm sure this will be my last post on this thread and if something comes up down the road I'll start a new post once I'm positive it's a diagnosis. But it was nice to have support from everybody cuz this is all new to me and I don't have a lot of people I can talk to. So thank you again and God bless all of you on your path. I'm blessed to know that you guys have each other.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3156
Joined: May 2012

I'm glad you have tested negative for everything, Pink.

If you retrace this thread, you'll see that most writers suggested that no cancer was probable for you.

You arrived thinking you had perhaps 3 cancers, metastatic disease, and were wondering which was 'primary.'   

The best takeaway might be for you and all of us to not assume we have cancer or a relapse until confirmed by a biopsy....  A great man once wrote, Fear is useless; what is needed in trust.  Actually, fear is much worse than useless -- it is caustic and dibilitating. 

I hope a positive biopsy never comes your way.  75% of Americans never get cancer, so statistically, you are not likely to in fact ever get it either.

max

ShadyGuy
Posts: 350
Joined: Jan 2017

Congratulayions!

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