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Elliot Ruff
Elliot Ruff,
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 559
Experience:  GP at Whitstable Medical Practice
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I’m worried sick that I have spinal cancer, I can’t get it

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I’m worried sick that I have spinal cancer, I can’t get it out of my head. I have some of the symptoms such as muscle weakness and aches and pains throughout my body especially my lower back and legs. When I lay down my back ache is a lot worse which is also a symptom.

Good afternoon, I am Dr Elliot and hope that I can help

How long have you been having pain for?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Almost 3 months now

Okay, and is this in your lower back? and does it feel tender at the site of the pain?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have been to see the doctor and have had blood tests which case back normal. Would this cancer show up in a blood test ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It is my lower back and my legs are always achy. It’s all over really but these are the worst. It does feel abit tender yes

So if you have had a calcium level which is normal and another enzyme to do with calcium absorption then this strongly suggests there is no bone problem

If you don't mind me asking, are you overweight? are you physically an active individual?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I am very active, I used to go to the gym a lot but because of lockdown I haven’t been able to. I’m also unable to workout at home because the back pain is too painful
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I’m not overweight I weigh 8 stone
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
your suggesting the blood test wouldn’t miss it, I had it done right at the start when all the problems started but the pain has been getting worse

Indeed you have, so the most likely cause to your symptoms is a muscular skeletal problem - may be from being an active individual

I would certainly not consider bone cancer as a differential for you, but would ask if you could see a physiotherapist as this is ongoing

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It’s just the symptoms are so similar and it’s really worrying me, due to the pandemic I am unable to see anyone or have x rays done, I am my GP on Wednesday what do you suggest I ask them to do?

Ask them to examine your back. Xrays for the back use a lot of radiation so they are not sensible unless there was a significant concern. An examination would be able to reassure that there is nothing sinister going on with your back

Also given your age, spinal cancer is very very rare. Other than you saying about it, I would not have even concerned it as a diagnosis for you

But I appreciate it can be difficult once we think it could be something quite scary

does that help?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
would another blood test be necessary as it was taken at the start of the problem and things may have changed. Also how would the doctor be able to see a problem externally?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Also why is the pain worse when lying down and why am I really achy in the morning ?

No, I do not think another blood test would be needed. Joint pain can be positional. Generalised aches are often muscular

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
My joint do hurt to, little things like holding my phone up when lying down, my elbow aches
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Are you still here ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.

Yes, I am still here

So there are some joint conditions that can cause this, but nothing sinister/life threatening, but most of these conditions require physiotherapy only to treat them

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
why is the pain worse when lying down and why am I really achy in the morning ? And what could some of these conditions be and what causes them ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Can stress cause any of this ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Also how will my doctor be able to see nothing is wrong with my back internally

So inflammatory arthritis and some viruses can cause this. Stress would almost certainly be a trigger

Your doctor would look at your spine, and press over the vertebrae, if there is a tender bony area then an xray may be suggested, but this excludes the need to image

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I think an x ray will be the only thing to put my mind at rest I’ve been so so anxious and worried. Having meltdowns most days. I have recently had an inflamed vein behind one of my knees which I don’t know what could have caused that? Also around 6/7 months ago I had glandular fever would this be anything to do with that possibly ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
My problems aren’t sharp pains in one particular area it’s more aches all over but mainly my legs- mostly behind the knees and my lower back. Shoulders are also very sore and tender. I have also lost a lot of strength and I am weaker

Okay, I would probably ask for an MRI scan of your back then if there is no tenderness, an MRI is magnetic and no radiation. Xrays would irradiate you pelvis so avoid this if it is not needed

Does this help answer your question?

I am happy to speak if you would prefer but I appreciate that this is charged for

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I would rather not call as it’s more money
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
the doctors won’t refer me for an mri due to the pandemic and they don’t think it’s serious enough. I’m scared something serious will be missed and something bad will happen

I understand and would rather you did spend if not required. Have a chat with your GP, but it is so unlikely there is anything concerning going on

So routine MRIs will restart next month, assuming there is no 2nd recurrence of infection rates

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It’s just strange as it’s been going on for so long and is getting worse not better
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
The coincidental thing is it all began at the beginning of lockdown. I had a lot of worries and anxiety’s as mum has a respiratory illness and I’ve been worrying sick about her catching the virus. Since then it’s got worse and worse and more symptoms have appeared
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I’ll be able to get an mri next month ?

Certainly anxiety will make it seem a lot worse, yes this is more likely that you would

I am more than happy to leave this chat open, but please could you kindly rate my response, this allows me to be credited for answering questions - thanks

Elliot Ruff and other Neurology Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
your convinced it’s nothing serious, from what I’m describing what is it likely to be

Thank you, ***** ***** doesn't sound serious

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
What do you think it’s likely to be ?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Any relation to glandular fever that I had

Glandular fever can cause a fatigue and ache, yes. Otherwise without examining you I am not sure

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
your confident that if the doctor examines me he will sort the problem

I am

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Ok I just hope it’s nothing serious
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
It’s just very painful and it’s stopping me from doing exercise
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Are you still available to speak to ?

Good morning, I am here. I would need to extend this conversation or ask you create a new question given the time. I will try and submit the option for your to decide what you would like to do

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
please as your the best doctor I’ve spoken to on here
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hello ?