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Smoker, having stiffness, fasciculations, headache. Done MRI and X-ray. Chances of cancer?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I am a 29 year old ex smoker of 5 pack years. I have been having neurologic symptoms for the past 11 months, and would like to know if it could potentially be sclc. My symptoms are tigh stiff extremeties, fasciculations, headache like never before as if my brain is under attack and visual snow or what is called persistent XXXXXXX 24/7 as well as persistent chest pain the last 3 months. I have had a chest CT 8 months ago which was 3 months after symptom onset, and MRI of Brain and Spine 3 months ago, as well as chest x-ray 1 month ago. Could this be caused by occult cancer not showing up on radiographs of the lungs or elsewhere?

Thank you for your time
Posted Fri, 6 Sep 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Most likely not cancer

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

This is a very good question and I appreciate that you're dealing with some bothersome symptoms.

With all of the symptoms that you are experiencing if this were related to cancer I would expect much more significant findings on imaging studies. With a negative CT scan and MRI this is fairly convincing evidence that you do not have any type of lung cancer going on.

There maybe some type of other explanation. I would suggest that you Discuss the symptoms again with your primary care doctor. Perhaps a referral to a neurologist might be a good place to start.

I think you have had an appropriate imaging workup so far. Again I seriously doubt there is any type of cancer going on. I completely understand your worry and concern.

At the same time I think you deserve an appropriate workup to try to explain why you were having a symptoms. We discussed this with your primary care doctor to design a plan to have this evaluated.

Thanks again for sending your question. Please let me know if you have any additional specific concerns.

Dr. Galamaga
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