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newly diagnosed needs help

susant14
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2007

I was diagnose with papillary cancer Dec12. I have to wait for Febuary to have RAI. My surgeon said my tumor was stage 2 but only because i'm 48. My endocrinologist told me that because my tumor was 3.5 cm I am in the High risk group. I couldn't even concentrate at that point but my husband said he asked the prognosis and she said it was very good. Needless to say I am very upset and anxious. I can't imagine feeling this way to Febuary. Any one else out there been told they were high risk and how are you doing?

Rustifox's picture
Rustifox
Posts: 131
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi, Susan,
Your husband and the doctor are right - your prognosis is very good, BUT - if we are over 45 years of age, we normally are considered in a 'higher' risk group than those who are younger than we are.

But the critically important thing here is 'staging', like they do in other cancers, is often not half as important for us - because about 85% of thyroid cancers will be completely 'wiped out' by the radioactive iodine treatment planned for February. Most thyroid cancers are easily treated this way - because the cells are still similar to thyroid tissue, and 'suck up' the radioactive iodine (particularly and even more so when combined with the low iodine diet for 2 weeks before RAI treatment). The cancer sucks up the radioactive iodine just like a sponge, and then during the next 6 months to a year it kills even the tiniest little pieces of thyroid tissue, both benign and malignant. So even though you are considered to be at higher risk (tumor size, and your age), this doesn't mean anything very bad for you... it just means you need to be watchful and do the things suggested - which will include at the very least annual checkups for your thyroid cancer at least once a year for the rest of your life.

Please don't worry too much - try to get as much rest as you can, and be kind to yourself. These are some very good websites if you would like to learn more about the disease, staging, the low iodine diet, etc - please try to read only proper medical websites, to get the best info possible - hope these help a bit. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/PDF/thyroid.pdf

http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/thy.2006.16.ft-1

Low Iodine Cookbook, compliments of Thyca - www.thyca.org :
http://www.thyca.org/Cookbook.pdf

Thyroid cancer staging - complete explanation of staging in various methods - MAICS, AMES, and TNM:
http://cumc.columbia.edu/dept/thyroid/staging.html

And more info on staging, from Thyca:
http://www.thyca.org/types.htm

ErinMom8
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2008

I saw your comments to someone else. My daughter only 21 was just diagnosed Jan 2 with thyroid cancer but since then it has become more serious and we are told it has gone to chest and laying on or wrapped around major blood supply. I am so scared. We finally found a thoracic surgeon who wants to go into her chest and see what he can do. So April 17 my daughter will have her thyroid taken out followed by chest surgeon. My daughter and grandson only 2 and half lives with me and I am so scared. I can not loose her, her son needs her. The doctors want to help her because of her age, but I know this is so serious.

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