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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: Fatigue, weight loss, aches/pains & abnormal FBC?

 JackTrax - Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:13 am


I'm a 32 year old male who has been suffering from fatigue, tiredness and weakness for several months (at least 3 or 4). I've also been steadily losing weight (7+ pounds) but I'm not dieting (wasn't overweight to start with). I've been having weird aches & pains lately too. My bones & joints (e.g. knees and ankles) ache quite a lot, especially first thing in the morning. I've also been getting discomfort in my back on the left side (above my waist but below the rib cage).

I had some blood tests done recently (including full blood count). Tests came back negative for diabetes and thyroid problems, but abnormal for neutrophils, red blood count and lymphocytes. I don't have the actual numbers so I don't know whether they were lower or higher than expected. I've just had a follow up FBC (4 weeks after the first test) and the results will come back next week. I'm worried that some form of cancer could be the cause.

What could cause my symptoms and abnormal blood test results, and what questions should I ask my doctor next week?

Many thanks in advance.

 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:00 pm

User avatar Hello,

The symptoms you have described are non specific and can occur in many conditions that can be benign or malignant.

These symptoms however, seem to be more related to myoskeletal disorders or connective tissue disorders.

A list of inflammatory conditions involving the joints and the muscle could be the reason of your symptoms and the only way to narrow these possibilities is through proper history taking and physical examination.

These conditions include:
- Systemic rheumatic illnesses involving the joints like systemic lupus erythematosus SLE,
- Rheumatoid arthritis RA, ankylosing spondylitis, gout etc.
- Infectious arthritis bacterial, viral etc

These conditions usually result in vague symptoms like fatigue, weight loss, fever, in addition to inflammatory affection of the joints making them painful, stiff and may be swollen during the disease activities.

Some people with depression may also present with joint pain, weight loss, and fatigue.

Other causes like blood diseases whether benign or malignant can give similar clinical picture.

Complete blood picture, ESR, LDH, Serologic tests and imaging recommended by your physician after thorough clinical examination are helpful to define the underlying cause.

It would be more helpful if you can provide us with the results of your blood tests.

I would advise you to follow up with your doctor.
Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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