Oncology (General Cancer)/cancer signs


Dear Dr. Higby,

 The pounds started coming off easily so I decided it was a good time to start a diet. In approx. a year I have lost 35 pounds eating around 1500 calories with little exercise.  I'm at maintenance now at 5'6.5" and 128 pounds age 57.  I have had moderate left leg, hip, butt, and back pain for the last 2 months. (no x-rays taken) My Internist Dr. told me I have hip bursitis and sciatic. (I still have pain) I also started to have a less urine stream but my OBGYN dismissed it since I am going through the change.
 I just got back from a leisure week of vacation.  I ate around 1900 calories of fattening junk food and when I came home and weighed myself I did not gain any weight. In the back of my mind I was thinking cancer.  Am I being overly worried?
Thank you

Thank you

The pain you describe sounds like you may have some nerve root pressure in your lower back, which is not uncommon and may be an  early sign of osteoporosis.  You should definitely have that checked.  It can also be related to "spinal stenosis" or disc degeneration.  The urine stream issue is certainly compatible with the "change".  The lack of weight gain with an increase in calorie intake over a week is not in itself something to worry about.  A lot of times when someone goes on vacation their activity level increases as well.  Besides, a week is not enough time to note real change.  
So everything could be benign, and I wouldn't suspect cancer from your description. However, you are right to listen to your body, and if things seem to be getting worse, by all means insist  on further tests.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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