Oncology (General Cancer)/Gastric cancer?


Hi,my 43 year old 150 pound 5'6" husband has been having gastric issues. Symptoms include discomfort most often after eating, bloating, both pale and green colored stools, diarrhea at times stomach cramping, 5 pound unintentional weight loss. Also he has had very loud stomach gurgling noises that he has never experienced before. I do not see any yellowing of eyes or anything like that. He did go see a doctor who ran a cbc, wbc, and metabolic series. Tests came back normal except blood sugar which was elevated a little at 144. Upon exam there was tenderness in the right upper abdominal area. Because tests were normal, doctor's first concern was that he was making too much acid so prescribed something for that. It helped a little but symptoms have not resolved.  my husband cut out fats, spicy foods, dairy etc., to see if symptoms improved and that also has helped only a little.  These symptoms are all new for him and he does not have a history of issues.

He does have some stressful issues going on with his extended family so I question IBS but I had stage III cancer with chemo rads/job loss a few years back and going through this did not cause him to have any gastric symptoms then. I guess I am just wondering if we should get a second opinion, pursue this further or if we should feel comfortable that blood work was normal.

You would think with the tenderness, pale colored stools, etc., it would warrant further investigation, but maybe labs tell more than I know? I worry about gallbladder, liver or pancreas issues/cancer. I have read many stories of how blood work does not always show anything in the beginning, in fact with my own cancer, my blood work was normal.  I would appreciate any advice on this.  Thank you.

If I were treating your husband, I would order a CT of the upper abdomen with contrast, and I would refer him to a gastroenterologist.  He may have nothing serious, but symptoms suggest there is something wrong.  Normal labs don't rule out a tumor or a gastric ulcer, or a number of other things.  So your instincts are correct.  Get a second opinion.  Keep me posted.  

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

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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