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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes severe upper abdominal swelling?

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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3430 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 9 Sep 2015 in General Health
Question: my upper abdominal area is tender and distended, for 8 months now, had blood tests colonoscopy mamo and upper abdominal sonogram done , negative all fine, went to dr today, she felt my upper stomach and scared me and is ordering a cat scan,im afraid of cancer, my dad mom sister all died from it, before i go to cat scan appt i need to sleep at nite, could it be something othe rthen cancer, ulcer from stress? what could it be?
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
yes it could...

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

although cancer always takes its place in diagnostic lists for almost every kind of symptom, I would be surprised if the diagnostic process revealed cancer.

Your symptoms are more suggestive of stomach related problems which could be an ulcer, "dyspepsia" but could also be cancer.

You haven't mentioned upper endoscopy which is a very good test to confirm or exclude the aforementioned diagnoses. Since the ultrasound scan was negative, it is very likely that the CT scan will be negative as well. There are some locations thought that the ultrasound may not image as good as the CT, like the pancreas or parts of the bile duct.

If you'd like to discuss your case further please provide more clinical data like a more detailed description of your symptoms, not forgetting to mention the following:
- did your symptoms have anything to do with food? Did the symptoms follow food intake?
- are your symptoms stress-related?
- are there any asymptomatic periods or do you have symptoms every day?
- is there anything that makes you feel better (or worse)?
- do you have any other associated symptoms like nausea, vomiting, etc?

An upper endoscopy may help in your case (if you haven't already done it).
If no conclusion is reached after the tests then perhaps a therapeutic trial with proton pump inhibitors could be initiated.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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