Cancer Found in the ER: Why Stomach Pain Should Never Be Ignored

Cancer Found in the ER: Why Stomach Pain Should Never Be Ignored

LaShonda Holmes Wells had a lot to live for when she checked in to Medical City ER Saginaw with stomach pain — one of the leading reasons people visit the ER. Like chest pain, stomach pain can be vague and indicate any number of problems.

Other than abdominal pain, LaShonda couldn’t pinpoint any additional symptoms. She just knew something was wrong. The staff immediately brought her to a room and ordered testing. When Wendy Chan, MD, the attending emergency medicine physician, came to see her, the staff already had reports of critical labs. Dr. Chan performed a thorough physical exam and ordered additional testing.

“The CAT scans showed that she had a pretty-good-sized mass in her kidney,” Dr. Chan said. “I consulted our urologist, who confirmed that the mass was definitely abnormal.”

LaShonda was referred to the urologist for follow-up. Her ER nurse, Liz Reed, RN, made sure she went.

Always have severe stomach pain checked out.

Why it’s essential to follow up on stomach pain.

“I went to the urologist and found out I had stage 1 cancer,” LaShonda said. “What I went in to the ER for was totally different from what I left with.”

LaShonda was quickly scheduled for a partial nephrectomy — a surgery which removes a renal tumor while preserving the remainder of the kidney.

“I am now 100% cancer-free,” LaShonda said. “The staff at Medical City ER Saginaw went above and beyond in taking care of me … to make sure that I followed up with my treatment. I am now living life to the fullest with my husband and 6-year-old son. This has totally changed my life.”

When to go to the ER for stomach pain.

“I think LaShonda’s experience shows the culture we have at Medical City,” said Erik Waller, RN, director of Medical City ER Saginaw. “She had a physician who was willing to sit down and listen to her symptoms and not dismiss her concerns. She had a nurse who was willing to make sure she sought follow-up care. She found a potentially lethal diagnosis a lot earlier. She was able to get aggressive treatment and now she’s cancer-free. It really just gave her kind of a new lease on life.”

Not all stomach pain requires a trip to the ER, but it can be an indication of something serious, such as appendicitis or a gallbladder infection. Here are some indications that you should have it checked out.

  • Abdominal pain is severe or unrelenting
  • Stomach is tender to the touch
  • Pain extends into your back or is localized to one particular area
  • Your pain is accompanied by a high fever
  • You have blood in your stool or urine
  • You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant

If stomach pain becomes more than you can handle, one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or visit Medical City Virtual Care for non-emergency medical treatment from your computer or smartphone.

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