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Abdominal mass Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Abdominal mass. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Where is the abdominal mass?
  2. When did you first notice it?
  3. Have you noticed any change in the abdominal mass with time?
  4. Family history of bowel cancer or inflammatory bowel disease
  5. Have you experienced any pain?

    Why: pain, its nature, timing and characteristics can give a better indication of what the underlying problem is, e.g. appendicitis.

  6. Has it changed in size?

    Why: An abdominal mass which changes in size and can be popped back in may be a hernia. However, an abdominal mass which has steadily grown in size recently may be bowel cancer, an aortic aneurysm or even constipation.

  7. How long since you first noticed the abdominal mass?

    Why: The length of time which you have had the abdominal mass may reflect the nature of the mass i.e. the longer a mass has been present the more likely that it is benign, though this is not always the case.

  8. Has your bowel habit changed recently?

    Why: Bowel movements which have been darker than usual, "tarry" and unusually "sticky" may be an indication of bowel cancer or gastrointestinal hemorrhage. A change in the frequency of bowel movements can indicate bowel cancer, particularly when they have decreased in frequency. Alternatively, and more commonly, a decreased frequency of bowel movements can be an indication of constipation.

  9. Have you had weight loss or a decreased appetite recently?

    Why: These can be symptoms of cancer.

  10. Have you ever had your appendix removed?

    Why: An appendiceal abscess as a result of severe appendicitis can be common but quickly ruled out as the cause of an abdominal mass if your appendix has been previously removed.

  11. Have you ever had your spleen removed?

    Why: Enlargement of your spleen (splenomegaly) can be caused by many things, such as glandular fever, leukaemia, malaria, hepatitis, cirrhosis, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia or septicemia. It is important for your health professional to know if you do not actually have a spleen as it can easily rule out some possibilities and also alerts them to some conditions you may be more prone to.

  12. Do you have, or have you ever had any liver disease, yellowish skin or eyes, or dark urine?

    Why: Many liver diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis can cause abdominal masses.

  13. Have you had a chronic cough, ever had tuberculosis or had contact with someone who does?

    Why: Tuberculosis can give a wide variety of masses in different locations.

  14. Have you been in any countries where malaria occurs?

    Why: Malarial infection can cause a large and marked abdominal mass.

  15. Is there a possibility that you might be pregnant?

    Why: In women of reproductive age, a previously undiscovered pregnancy may be found incidentally whilst investigating an abdominal mass. It is important to be sure about whether you are or are not pregnant as some investigations the health professional may perform could potentially harm a fetus.

  16. Do you have arthritis or joint pain?

    Why: Rheumatoid arthritis may sometimes cause an abdominal mass by causing splenomegaly (enlargement of your spleen).

  17. Have you been having difficulty passing urine?

    Why: Difficulty in emptying your bladder as a result of such things as prostatitis or prostate cancer, can cause your bladder to enlarge and be felt as an abdominal mass.

  18. When was your last menstrual period?

    Why: In women, it is important for your doctor to know how far into your current menstrual cycle you are as it is possible that you may have an ovarian cyst.

  19. Have you ever been told that you had uterine fibroids?

    Why: These can become quite large and be felt as an abdominal mass.

  20. Has anyone in your family had bowel, pancreatic, kidney, breast, parathyroid, pituitary, or thyroid cancer?

    Why: These are all conditions which have a genetic component, and may be inherited. Whilst some of these cancers do not occur in the abdomen, they may be linked with cancers of abdominal organs: breast cancer can be linked with ovarian cancer and bowel cancer; parathyroid adenoma and pituitary adenoma can be linked with pancreatic cancer; parathyroid adenoma and a specific type of thyroid cancer can be linked with pheochromocytoma (an adrenal gland tumor).

  21. Is there any abdominal pain?

    Why: see abdominal pain.

  22. Is there any appetite change?

    Why: see appetite changes.

  23. Is there any weight loss?
  24. Is there any nausea or vomiting?
  25. Is there any diarrhea?
  26. Is there any constipation?
  27. Is there any blood in the bowels?

    Why: see bloody stool.

  28. Is there any blood in the urine?

    Why: see blood in urine.

  29. Is there a fever?
  30. Is there any abnormal vaginal bleeding (bleeding after menopause, bleeding in between the periods or bleeding after intercourse?

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Abdominal mass:

The following list of conditions have 'Abdominal mass' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Abdominal mass or choose View All.

View All A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U W X Y

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