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Fear of cancer - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Good Posted in: Cancer
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3394 Questions

Doctor :   hi
Doctor :  
how can i help you
Doctor :  
please mention your age

User :   Hi,
User :   Hi, I'm 29. Basically I've led a pretty unhealthy lifestyle for a lot of years but am now very scared I may have cancer. my parents and all grandparents died of cancer young, and i've become paranoid about it. For months I've had pains around my heart area and twinges. Also tingling at times in my fingers and joint ache. About 2 months ago I was on some anti inflamatory tablets for a sore neck at one felt liek it got stuck. It seemed to stay there for several days and almost felt like it was behind the lining of my throat. Since then my throat has felt swolen on one side and I can feel a lump when I swallow. A doctor has had a look and said he can't see anything but it still hasnt gone. I'm a smoker and it definitely gets worse when I smoke. I keep trying to quit but panic when the lump doesnt go away and start smoking again. Stupid i know. I also take a lot of codeine based painkillers which i became almost addicted to after my dad died in 2003 on my birthday and I started getting regular headaches. i think in a lot of ways I'm paranoid and a hypochondriac but I can't help being so scared I have something like throat or lung cancer because of my unhealthy lifestyle and the tight chest, shortness of breath, throat lump, etc. How likely is cancer in a 29 year old and what could the lump be caused by? Any advise would really help.
Doctor :  
User :   Hi
Doctor :  
so fear is your enemy
Doctor :  
did you do any tests
User :   about a year ago I had low potassium and had a lot of tests done then including a chest xray.
User :   They never found the cause of the low potassium
User :   when i went recently about the throat lump they took a 5 second look in my throat and did nothing further
Doctor :  
ok what was the cause of deaths in your family
User :   they said I had to wait 8 weeks and then consider an endoscopy
User :   mum was a brain haemhorrage at 46
Doctor :  
and others
User :   dad was throat cancer at 53
User :   grandad 1 - brain tumur
User :   grandad 2 - lung cancer
User :   gran - lung cancer
Doctor :  
ok your chest x-ray was it fine
User :   a year ago yes. Not had one since
User :   they said it was clear at the time
User :   they did lots of blood tests too but found nothing but very low potassium
Doctor :  
what is your occupation
Doctor :  
ok you said chest pain is there right
Doctor :  
it can be due to low potassium
User :   work in music industry as a tour manager and lighting designer. Lot of travelling, lots of long days, late nights, irregular eating, etc. Over the years have smoked a lot as well as a lot of cannabis. Chest pain is sporadic and more kind of twinges around my heart area
Doctor :   you should quit smoking
User :   I am desperately trying to
Doctor :  
and regularise your diet
Doctor :  
you might take anti tobbaco counslling
Doctor :  
as well
Doctor :   quit cannabis in an deaddiction centre
Doctor :  
if you have not
User :   have quit that about 3 months ago
User :   in fact more like 5 months
Doctor :  
and ok never revert back
Doctor :  
and you need regular follw up
Doctor :  
to be on the safer side
Doctor :  
because when there is cancer history in the family
Doctor :  
it can have mor chances
User :   ok
User :   What could cause the throat lump?
Doctor :   throat lumps can be caused from simple swelling to tumors
Doctor :   hello
User :   So what would you suggest i do. Wait and see if lump goes down / away now I've stopped smoking?
User :   If it does feel like it starts to go down does that make it unliekly to be cancer?
Doctor :   most of the time
Doctor :  
but it should be confirmed
Doctor :  
because it can spurt anytime
User :   can an xray or mri confirm or does it have to be an endoscopy?
Doctor :  
x ray and mri can miss it most of the time
Doctor :  
an endoscopy as the better chance than these but it allows for biopsy
User :   would a blood test show up anything if there were a lung or throat tumour or is it not something that shows up in blood tests?
Doctor :  
it will show up pretty earlier in the blood
Doctor :  
called tumor markers
Doctor :  
specific for each site and type
User :   ok, so i would have to explain to the doctor that i wanted my lungs and throat checking. and hope theyll take me seriously and do the blood tests and chest xray, etc.
Doctor :  
but they are done in the oncology institute
Doctor :  
yes you should present your symptoms and stress you family backgrond
Doctor :  
background withcancer
Doctor :  
and you habbits
Doctor :  
they will follow you upregularly
Doctor :  
and will do the neccessary investigation
Doctor :  
after explaining it to you
Doctor :  
of course everything wil be done with your permission and after explaining
Doctor :  
but always remember
Doctor :  
when you are in the positive attitude the tests will be favourable to you
Doctor :  
are you there
User :   Sorry, it said you were still typing. Ok, well i'll do that and hope it's nothing serious - just want the paranoia, fear and panic to stop! thanks for your time.
Doctor :  
please fill the feedback form
Doctor :  
and of course i tried to be in simpler words was that ok with you
User :   yes, thanks
Doctor :   thanks
Doctor :   are you still there
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