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Author Topic: Heart palpitations /cancer  (Read 282 times)

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Offline olethros

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Heart palpitations /cancer
« on: December 27, 2013, 02:51:40 PM »
Back in February I started having some intestinal problems. I went through a range of tests including blood, urine, stool sample, endoscopy and abdominal ultrasound. Everything was fine. They didn't do a colonoscopy which has left me worried ever since. Although since then my symptoms have gotten better, recently (last couple of days) I started noticing heart palpitations particularly when lying down or sitting. Maybe a little flutter at random intervals. I'm not new to these skips, as I have mitral valve prolapse and anxiety, but they've never done like this. Now I'm convinced it's from anemia induced by colon cancer. I'm only 30 (started at 29) but I still worry a ton. I've been worrying for basically this whole year since it started. Need some help as I'm so tired of thinking about this...
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 04:02:09 PM »
If the ultrasound didn't show anything suspicious, why would they perform a colonoscopy? Colonoscopy is for a detailed look at your colon but as far as I know, ultrasound shows colon cancer. I mean, you don't go asking for an exam. You go to a doctor and tell him your symptoms. He then sends you to do tests. Because he knows this stuff, he is trained in that field.
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 07:10:02 PM »
Overthinking, thanks for taking the time to respond. I've heard people who said that nothing but a colonoscopy will show it. Although I have seen a paper that suggested abdominal ultrasounds can be used as well. I just worry that maybe I was one of the cases where a colonoscopy was really needed. I even worry that I didn't do the stool sample right - like, got the wrong part of the stool or not enough of it so nothing showed up or whatever.  I mean, I know you're right - he's the doc, I'm not, and his tests were fairly extensive, so clearly he was taking my concerns seriously not just casting me off. But I do wonder what's making my heart skip randomly throughout the day. It's been a couple of days but it's driving me nuts and makes me worry even more...

If it were cancer it wouldn't have gotten better though, right? Surely after nearly a year symptoms would be considerably worse, not mostly better, correct?
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 07:21:38 PM »
If it was cancer, you would have quite a few symptoms. But why even think it's cancer? Sure, you should play it safe but why go right away to the worst? It just isn't probable.
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 07:27:54 PM »
Because I have HA  :spineyes:

I dunno ... I mean I know a ton of other things could be it. Actually when I sat down with the doc originally I told him my concern about cancer. He said it's possible, but basically not very likely. He said my issues were likely IBS, but he'd have to do other tests to rule out things before he could make that diagnosis. That's when we did all those other tests. I actually didn't see him again - I live in Japan, and they do things differently - but they sent all the tests to another doctor who looked at them and told me the results. The only thing they found was a polyp on my gallbladder, which they said is very normal. But I think that's another reason it's been hard for me, because I'm in Japan. I mean I know they have good docs here too obviously, but not seeing the other doc again and stuff like that just put more uncertainty in my mind.
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Offline Overthinking extrovert

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 07:56:24 PM »
Because I have HA  :spineyes:

Well this sentence suggest that you have come to terms with it. You shouldn't do that. Fight it! Sure, this fight is continuos but such is life.
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 11:16:36 PM »
Well usually I've been pretty good ... I mostly accepted the doc's diagnosis at first but my struggle has been that when something changes like this, I start to worry it's a new symptom that's related. Of course I have no reason to believe it's related and I've never heard of palpitations being a signal of cancer, especially colon cancer, but my mind can do wonders.

Regardless, I've been trying to fight it ... it's just tough when I'm continuing to have the palpitations. They're not crazy frequent, it's just like my heart skips a beat every 10 minutes on average maybe. Although yesterday I took my daughter out for a bit and while we were out I don't really remember noticing anything.
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2013, 12:26:00 AM »
Wise or not, I did look up a little more on anemia and the material seems to suggest that with anemia it's not like skipped beats but more like a racing heart or irregular heart beat, i.e. something more sustained. These are just random throughout the day so that made me feel a little better, and actually (although I lost some sleep last night from worrying) I actually feel like it's been doing a little better today even when I'm not doing much. Hoping it will fade away just like it came..
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 06:21:39 PM »
I'm still struggling with this today ... things were mostly better yesterday. Last night I relaxed with my family which was nice and had a couple of hours where I didn't feel any skips. But this morning they're still going on, and all I can think of is that I have colon cancer which is getting worse and starting to cause anemia and thus why I'm getting these skips.

I can have moments of clarity where I realize I went through tests that were fine back in March and that my intestinal symptoms have actually gotten better not worse. But then I see myself going to the doctor, being told I'm anemic, and leading down a path to me having colon cancer. :( I don't feel weak or fatigued at all, which I would think would happen if I had anemia enough to cause skipped beats ... but who knows...
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Offline Natsab87

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 06:33:31 PM »
I used to type for a gastroenterologist and I have typed about many people with colon cancer, none of which had palpitations as a symptom. Also I'm pretty sure the anaemia related to colon cancer is due to bleeding so unless you're passing a lot of blood, why would you be anaemic? Anaemia makes you feel pretty awful too like extremely drained etc. My guessing is that you're too aware of your heartbeat and when you relax you won't notice it! Just like you said you did when you took your daughter out. Try and relax I know it's hard!
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2013, 07:10:06 PM »
Nats, thanks so much for your reply. That really makes me feel much better. I think you're probably right ... but sometimes I need to hear it from others. Especially someone who has some connection to what I fear helps a lot. I mean I had a blood test and stool test along with others when it all started and that was fine but when my HA comes, I feel like for some reason that is all invalidated. I also talked to my mom who has been around a lot of cancer patients and she told me the same thing.

When I first started having gastro symptoms I did notice a drop of blood, twice I think (sorry to be gross!) and that of course freaked me out big time, but since then I've not seen anything like that, and given other small symptoms (itchy, burning sensation) I think it was either a hemorrhoid or fissure. At the time I had also lost weight (probably from all the worrying/not eating as much) but I've gained all of that back. And again my symptoms got much better in the following months, and especially since I started a probiotic that seems to have helped. I doubt any of this would be the case if I had colon cancer for the last year. But again, when the HA kicks in all the worries seems so real... :dazed:
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Offline marc

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2013, 09:23:18 PM »
I agree with Natsab87. An ultrasound does not show colon cancer.
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Offline olethros

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Re: Heart palpitations /cancer
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 11:33:37 PM »
Marc, I basically know you're right about the ultrasound thing and actually appreciate the honesty, but at some point back I found an article - it was actually an abstract from a medical journal article - that said abdominal ultrasounds can be used in colon cancer diagnosis. You can google it if you want but anyway I've heard most say an abdominal ultrasound won't but then I read that and wasn't sure.

Regardless, would you think that at least with all the tests something would have shown up that would be off enough to merit further investigation? Or that now, nearly a year later, symptoms would be much worse rather than better if it was cancer?
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