• What symptom led you to the doctor that ultimately found you had cancer?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Monday, October 3, 2016

    What symptom led you to the doctor that ultimately found you had cancer?

    And what type of cancer were you diagnosed with?

    30 Answers from the Community

    30 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Well, I had zero symptoms. I went to the doctor for the first time in at least 10 years because I had gained weight and felt that I had thyroid issues. My new primary care doctor felt a little tiny knot on my collarbone and sent me for a CT scan. The knot had come up just weeks earlier and had not alarmed me in the least.

      When the CT scan came back, my doctor immediately arranged a PET scan and set me up to see an oncologist. Diagnosis : stage IV lung cancer. I have never had any symptoms, despite the late stage cancer and the fact that the radiology reports always comment on the severe emphysema in my lungs.

      over 5 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I was asymptomatic; my tumor was found on a screening mammogram. However, that tumor had been visible for years prior -- for at least 10 years prior if you knew where to look. After it had reached a certain size, it was so slow-growing that it kept being labeled as "benign." Finally, one doctor felt uncomfortable enough to raise a red flag. I now ask for my images after every scan, because prior to diagnosis all I had received were letters saying my mammograms were "normal."

      over 5 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      I was asymptomatic until I went to the bathroom and filled the toilet with blood. Had never even seen a streak of blood before, and this was a massive amount of blood. At first, my doctor thought I must have burst a hemorrhoid, but when the bleeding continued, I went to a GI who wanted to do a colonoscopy, which I always said I'd never have done. But I needed to know what was going on, so I checked my modesty and anxiety at the door, went bottoms up and was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer at age 45.

      over 5 years ago
    • Janetspringer's Avatar

      I had massive bleeding that I thought could be fibroids since my mother had the same thing. Pain I could not ignore is what got me into the gynecologist.

      over 5 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      The middle of September I had a normal mammogram. Figured, I was good for at least another year. At the beginning of November, I just happened to rub my hand over the top of my breast. I don't remember if it was hurting or if I just did it. It was the size of a half dollar. Turns out it was Stage III HER2+ breast cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • Lillyzz's Avatar

      I was having shortness of breath. The dr ordered an X-ray. I had fluid in my lung. She sent me to the ER for a CT scan. They told me that night that I had a malignant tumor in my lung.

      over 5 years ago
    • Boris12's Avatar

      No real symptoms other than getting up 3-4 times a night for a trip to the bathroom. I was getting tired of the interrupted sleep so I made an appointment with a urologist. He did a blood draw and then the physical exam of the prostate. He said there were some tumors on the prostate and said I should have an ultrasound and biopsy. He called me and said my PSA was off the charts and I should come in for a talk. He set up a CT scan and bone scan for me. The diagnosis was stage 4 prostate cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      I found a lump in my breast...I sensed it was cancer before being told.

      over 5 years ago
    • Gfurey's Avatar

      no symptoms--this year tumor--My family Dr. got the news a day before I did--he called me on Sunday and had an apt. with the best oncologist on Monday--chemo started THURSDAY--

      over 5 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      For the LMS I was bleeding like crazy on and off. For the BC, I decided to get a mammogram as another sister was diagnosed & there it was -- no symptoms.

      over 5 years ago
    • ardelleg's Avatar

      I had a persistent case of laryngitis and finally went to an ENT doctor. He diagnosed me with a paralyzed vocal cord, possibly caused by a mass in my chest. He sent me for a CT, which showed just that. There was a small tumor in my left lung and it had spread to 2 lymph nodes which were putting pressure on the nerve to the vocal cords

      over 5 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      NO symptoms but had many nodes in my neck. I went to a General Surgeon for a biopsy and came back Marginal Zone, Nodal Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.....I'll NEVER forget that day.

      over 5 years ago
    • lh25's Avatar

      No real symptoms up until one night, heavy and erratic periods but I'd had those all my adult life. Then that one night I started bleeding and it was so heavy and wouldn't stop. We called 911, went to the ER. They thought it might be fibroids, sent me to a GYN for a uterine biopsy that came back suspicious. I had a complete hysterectomy, the path report came back with Uterine Cancer that had spread to an ovary.

      Looking back, I know now that those heavy periods were a symptom, but they really weren't that different than what I had always had. I also had clean pap smears, including one done in the ER.

      over 5 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I went to my PCP because I had been vomiting and had bad stomach aches I thought it might be "what's going around" and I would get some medicine to stop the nausea To my surprise my PCP ordered a chest x-ray that afternoon and a CT-scan and Barium swallow the next day. I had just arrived home from the Barium swallow when my PCP's office called as said to come in right away. That is when my PCP said he was sending me to the gastroenterologist for a biopsy of the 2 inch blockage in my esophagus. "Happy St. Patrick's Day" Strangely enough the very same symptoms and self diagnosis is what sent me to the UC three weeks ago. When the UC Dr. sent me to the ER for a CT-scan I suffered a couple hours of Deja vu and anxiety
      Looking back I really had other symptoms. My friends had been urging me to see a Dr. because I looked terrible and had lost a lot of weight. I had thought my frequent bouts with nausea were results of the depression due to my father's death. My cough, shortness of breath and fatigue I had blamed on allergies and had been self-medicating with OTC Claritin for a year.

      over 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I found a lump in my breast. Was then misdiagnosed but eventually diagnosed correctly as having early-stage breast cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I will add mine too. My First diagnosis for Hodgkins Disease, no symptoms, I went to a doctor to get some relief from the allergies that were killing me. Snotting, snorting, coughing constantly. The doctor felt of my neck and asked how long have you had that lump in your neck? I had no idea it was there. The second time, when the Hodgkins came back, again, no symptoms, the doctor felt my neck again and found a small lymph node in my neck. The third time, I found the lymph node in my neck. I woke one morning and felt a pain behind my ear, pushed on it and I could feel it was a swollen lymph node. I knew at that moment what was coming next.

      over 5 years ago
    • Sylvc56's Avatar

      I started experiencing a nagging pain on lower right side of abdomen. I let it go a day, didn't sleep all night because the pain was getting sharper and sharper. Went to emergency in the middle of the night, got X-ray done they said I had appendicitis. Woke up with Stage IV appendiceal cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • Terri's Avatar

      The melanoma that started on my intestines got so large it started sticking out of my side. They told me it was a bruise. Wrong.

      over 5 years ago
    • SandiA's Avatar

      I found a lump on the back of my neck. I didn't go the first day I found it but two days later I had a stiff neck and then the next day I could not lift my left arm all the way up. I went to the doctor the next day

      over 5 years ago
    • MarianneT's Avatar

      I had been feeling tired when running, more frequent indigestion and other minor things. I figured I would get checked out by a doctor when I got home after a 3 month job away. Shortly after I found a dimple on my breast. I then knew why I felt so crappy. I was so sure it was breast cancer that I cut my long hair to above the shoulder and bought a new car so I would not get stuck on the roads/snow through the coming winter. I was diagnosed shortly after that.

      over 5 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar

      I had absolutely no symptoms and no suspicious lump. I went to have a long delayed mammogram and invasive ducal carcinoma was found.

      over 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I'd had heavy periods for most of my adult life. I had doctors pat my on the head, tell me to lose weight and that my periods would normalize. Went into the hospital for a hernia repair. Oh look, my surgeon is rounding the corner while I'm in recovery. Don't remember much of what he said after "adenocarcinoma". No overt symptoms.

      over 5 years ago
    • lh25's Avatar

      Yep BuckeyeShelby, I had the same experience. Told that I just needed to lose weight. I had one GYN, HIGHLY recommended by a co-worker, walk in for my first appointment, look at me and say "don't you ever try to eat something healthy?". Needless to say, that was also my last appointment with her. But what she said stuck with me, that somehow my period issues were my fault, and that weight was the problem.

      over 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Sad when ya get fat shaming from doctors.

      over 5 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar

      Cancer is so sneaky How many of us would have been diagnosed sooner and probably at an earlier stage if we had experienced pain as an initial symptom? My very first symptom, and the thing that scared me so bad and drove me to make an appointment with my doctor was a feeling of tightness around my abdominal area, as if a belt was being cinched tightly about me. Had never experienced such a feeling before. Only lasted a few seconds, but alarm bells went off. After months of being misdiagnosed, finally a CT scan showed I had later stage ovarian cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • Zappy's Avatar

      Right armpit would slightly swell when i would exercise (elyptical) but not always. I did not have pain nor did a feel any lumps on armpit or breast.. I went to my doc but to really inquire about a colonscopy as my father had just been diagnozed with colon cancer and was informed that all his children should get a colonoscopy. I mentioned the armpit issue and the doc gave me the option for a mammo with an ultrasound; doc did not feel any lump either. I figured..why not just to make sure. The mammo picked up the lump on breast. I was 37 and cancer had already mets to liver and bones.

      over 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Like Carool, I noticed a growth. Like Carool doctors told me it was nothing.

      Over the course of 13 long years I went to nearly 60-100 doctors asking them to remove the the growth. Every last one of those myopic dastards told me it was either a wart or a hemorrhoid and that those sort of things werent removed any more. No surgery, no banding, no worries. Because I remained concerned, I was offered Wellbuterin, told to see psychos who offered me more happy pills and who opined that my caretaker role was getting to me. Six internists dismissed me as an uncooperative patient.

      The Universe laughs in strange ways. Part of my employment was managing units in a run down horrid condo building. I never took the elevator and lightly skipped up the stairs when I had to use them.

      A little black kitty jumped up on my Mom's lap as she sat on the front porch on her birthday. It needed saving and so we did. Apres vet visits, we took it into the house where first kitty highly objected. Mom said "Lets get rid of it." but, lol, I had just spent over $100 at the vet for it so we compromised and the little black kitty had a home on the front porch where it was fed and slept.

      Out on the porch one afternoon, on the horn making business deals, I stood up and the little black kitty went to rub against my legs but it threw me off balance and I fell to the side to avoid crushing it as I tumbled. The slides I had borrowed from a gf did not give and twisted as I fell catching up my right big toe and breaking it.

      Sitting in my cast, using my Mom's walker to scoot around because, by this point, she was bedridden, I was utterly miserable and Mom and I were completely dependent on aides. The elevator in those horrid apartments fell, injuring a pregnant woman. I wondered if the Universe hadn't saved me from some horrible fate by injuring me?

      But I took solace from my pitiful existence in food. The heck with everything else, I ate two quarts of Stoneybrook Farm Organic Double Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream every day, sometimes forgoing meals. I gained 65 pounds and the "wart or hemorrhoid" grew along with the rest of me. Having healed and gone through physical therapy, suddenly the very same surgeon who the year before had told me he would not operate to remove the "desert flower" was offering to take it off as it "must be uncomfortable." Well XXXk yeah it had been uncomfortable for 13 long years.

      The end of the story, of course, wound me up typing and texting at whatnext. And now you know why I think doctors tossed me down a chute until I was financially viable, why I think that most doctors should not be licensed, and I am still having problems finding decent doctors.

      over 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Lol, I forgot. That is how I came to name the little black kitty. Because I thought the Universe had saved me by having the kitty trip me up (which was true but for a different reason) I gave it an ancient name from Sumeria which means "Conference of the Gods".

      That was one good kitty. It lived with me in that moldy house. It would let me use it as dumbells as I healed from this and that.

      over 5 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      I did not have symptoms. I had always had annual mammograms and after two sisters were diagnosed with DCIS my doc suggested I also have breast MRIs just as an added precaution. A few years later a breast MRI found cancer.

      over 5 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      My cat scratched my while I was trying to get her into her cat carrier to bring her to the vet. So a few days later, a lump the size of my pinkie appeared near my collar bone. It was the day after Thanksgiving, so I was going to wait until after the weekend to call the doctor. Well by Sunday evening, it had grown in size to as big as my hand! I went to the ER, and they sent me home because my white blood counts were in the ok range. So I went to my primary, who sent me to a surgeon. Now, every doctor or nurse that saw me would exclaim " Wow! What IS that?" Not very comforting!! So the surgeon declared it cat scratch fever, took a biopsy and put me on anti biotics. Over the weekend, I had flu like symptoms and the lump did not go down in size at all. So the surgeon said he would just remove it. But he said, not to worry, it is NOT cancer. So I wake up from surgery, and surprise! It was Lymphoma. This was almost 3 weeks after I first discovered it, and I had my first chemo treatment 22 days after that .

      over 5 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy

    Read and answer more invasive, squamous cell carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive, Squamous Cell Carcinoma page.