Dec 30, 2008 - 8:07 pm
I had a total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid cancer in June 2007. The pre-surgical sono showed 2 nodules (one on each lobe) and a suspicous 'mass' that was 'probably' a lymph node. Only one of the nodules was biopsied and it was malignant. I thought I did a great job of researching a top doc in New York. When I questioned him about the possible lymph node involvement he assured me that he would remove everything that needed to come out. He told me he didn't need to view the pre-surgical sono, or do a CT scan, because he would be in there and see for himself. Well - he was wrong. (He did remove 2 nodes - one left central and one right central and the left was positive). The first post-surgical sono showed the original 'mass' was still there - unchanged, and still suspicious. I had been given a small dose of RAI (75 mci) which obviously didn't take care of this. My surgeon told me to leave it alone, and that even if it is malignant, you can live with thryoid cancer cells in lymph nodes forever unscathed. My endocrinologist was concerned - but was taking the lead of the surgeon and said leave it alone. I consulted with a 'thyroid guru' in NY who said it can't possibly be anything - even 75 mci would ablate a cancerous lymph node (but he didn't even look at the sono!) I waited, and at one year post surgery, I had a thyrogen wbs which was neg. Stimulated tg was undetectable. But -- the sono still showed a suspicious area. I pushed the issue and had a biopsy -- it proved positive for papillary thyroid cancer. I now have a complete divergence of opinions on what to do. I went to Sloan Kettering where I was summarily dismissed and told to leave it alone or I'll end up with no voice and parathyroid damage. I went to Mount Sinai Hospital where they told me to remove it, or risk invasion to my trachea and metastases to distant organs. They said it is likely in many more nodes in the left central compartment and the entire compartment needs to be removed. I have scheduled surgery on January 21st... am I doing the right thing??