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Is it ok to wait?

Jennifer68
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2003

I recieved my biopsy results yesterday. I have papillary cancer in the thyroid. The surgeon who did the biopsy is a general surgeon and I have heard pos and neg about him neither of which involved thyroid surgery. The hospital he is out of really doesn't have an endocrine dept. so I am leery of using him. On the other hand there were two doctors recommended to me out of U o M Ann Arbor, MI. One is an Endocrine surgeon the other an Endocrinologist. The E surgeon cann't see me until 8/18, at that time they will do a pre op work up on me the surgery date is not until 9/10. My question is, has anyone else wait this long from Dx to surgery? I can get the surgery done sooner by a less experienced Dr. but I am not sure that would be the right decision. I know articles say that papillary is slow growing but does anyone know how slow? I know the biggest tumor I have, as far as the first surgeon believes, is about 1.9cm and no one knows for sure if there are more since they only did a biopsy on the largest they could see. Does anyone have any advise? You could post your advise or email me at marasco@netzero.net

Cglover
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2003

Hey Jen I have the same cancer and just had the surgery. I would wait for an experienced surgeon. My surgeon was said to be the best in San Antonio but he is an ENT surgeon not an Endocrinologist I have a separate doctor for that who did come see me in the hospital both before and after the surgery. If your case is anything like mine I had a big lump too and when they got in there I have 5 more lymph nodes all "fused" together - all cancer. I have a pretty big scar at the base of my neck but it looks good. The surgeon was awesome and really minimized the scaring. It took my imcompetent doctor almost 2 years to diagnose me because he didn't want to do surgery and it had only spread to the 5 lymph nodes - we think I have a body scan scheduled for Mon. I would think that since this is something that you have to live with for the rest of your life I would want an experienced surgeon and you can always have a sep. endo doctor. The surgery wasn't too bad took about an hour and a half and I was out of the hospital the next afternoon. I went home with a drainage tube for two days and then that came out and was back at work the following week. Just don't over do it and all should come out fine. From all I have read and heard like I'm sure you have it spreads from the thyroid so its not gonna like move to a different part of your body. But in my case they got me in pretty quick I'm confused as to why they are making you wait so long that would be a good question to ask. And something encouraging that my endo doctor told me is that if this cancer was really serious I would be going to see an oncologist instead of him. Made me feel a little better. Good luck and I hope it moves a little faster for you

LAF64's picture
LAF64
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2003

Waiting for a few weeks for an expert surgeon is a good idea. I waited 5 weeks for my surgeon while he had vacation and a busy schedule. It was well worth it and I feel very confident with my decision.

Jennifer68
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2003

A thank you, to everyone who emailed and replied to this message. I am at peace about my decision to wait. I did meet with the general surgeon I was not that impressed. He could only do my surgery about 3 to 4 days earlier than the Endocrin surgeon. His knowledge was ok, I think he would do a decent job but I am much more comfortable with the Endocrine surgeon. Thank you again everyone for your responses. Its nice to be able to bounce thoughts off of people who have been through the same thing.

morgomaddy
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

I was just diagnosed and will be having surgery sept. 11, 2003....is your surgery still set for the tenth? email me at morgomaddy2@aol.com

swati
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2003

Jennifer
I would advise you to wait. Pap cancer as long as it is in stage 1 or 2 is eminently treatable and a few weeks will not make a difference. But, having an experienced endo surgeon do your surgery versus a general guy will certainly matter.
I suggest you wait.

Swati

springer
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2001

By now, you have probably had your surgery. I just wanted to let you know that I waited 3 wks. for the results and then went on a cruise before I could have surgery. The cancer is normally very slow growing. Good luck! Cathy Leavell

Jennifer68
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2003

Yes, I had my surgery on 9/10 and i am glad i waited. The surgeon I went to was great. I did end up with a total thyroidectomy, cervical neck dissection and some of my r shoulder dissected. They found lymphnodes that were infected with the papillary cancer. The scar is only about 4 inches across, a little longer than expected but that was because they needed to do the dissection. I will now have to have the I131 for sure. I will have to wait for the body scan in 6wks to know if the cancer has spread anywhere else. They say that the outcome should still be very good. I am however at more of a risk for needing another treatment, due to higher risk of reoccurance later on in life. I am glad I waited for the doctor I felt more comfortable with he seems to really know his stuff and very experienced.

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