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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Is severe upper abdominal pain indicative of pancreatic cancer?

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Dr. Deepak Sundriyal

Oncologist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1422 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 16 Apr 2018 in Cancer
Question: I am worried I have symptoms of pancreatic cancer. I had an episode of severe upper abdominal pain last year under ribs, came in waves and was worse than labour pains. Pain was relieved by bending forward and left me breathless. Lasted about five hours. I had upper ultrasound to check gallbladder which was clear but showed lots of gas. I’m getting similar pain under left and right ribs which comes and goes but not as severe as that episode. I’m panicking because I also have acid problems, joint pain in knees and wrists and pain between shoulder blades. I have constipation and sometimes mucous in stool. I’m also getting numbness in my fingers, toes and legs and general muscle weakness. I’ve been telling my gp for two years that something is wrong but she puts it down to ibs and anxiety. I’m female and 44 years old. Please can you help? Recent blood tests have all been normal including Vit D and B12.
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Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Hello. This doesnot indicate pancreatic cancer

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear. The pain which you described is seen in advanced stage of pancreatic cancer but a patient with advanced stage pancreatic cancer wont survive more than 3 months without treatment. As you had this pain for the last 1 year, it practically rules out cancer. Moreover, just a pain is not suggestive of cancer. It should accompany loss of weight and appetite , jaundice. Yoyr symptoms are more typical of irritable bowel syndrome and a type A personality. Just relax. Nothing to worry.
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 16 hours later
Can ibs cause similar pain to pancreatic then?
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Answered by Dr. Deepak Sundriyal 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Hello. It may mimic ibs

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear. Yes, sometimes ibs can mimic pancreatic cancer pain.=, Although ibs produces more of a colicky pain of diarrhea alternating with constipation.
Thanks and regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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