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Surgery scheduled next Thursday...lots of questions!

kathleenbrd
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi, everyone. Went to the ENT yesterday, and they got me in for surgery next Thursday. I'm so relieved it's so soon.

I have a few questions from all you experienced survivors! The surgeon said that he will take out the right side of my thyroid where the nodule is and confirm if it's cancer or not (the biopsy was positive for papillary cancer). Then, if it is confirmed cancer by pathology, he will take out the left side as well. I asked about the lymph nodes near by, and he basically said that he will look at them and see what they look like. Well, how would he know if they're cancerous if they're not biopsied? Anyone else have a similar experience? I just want to make sure that they get it all. I really don't want to have another surgery later. Thanks for your help and advice.

Kathleen

jcvolt
Posts: 69
Joined: Mar 2009

If the biopsy was positive that means it is cancer. If the biopsy was inconclusive then sometimes they have a pathologist in the O.R. to test it right there.
The pathology report for the lymph nodes comes back like a week later, but they can usually see if it has spread or not during the surgery.

Jfoga143
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

I had exactly what happened to you. On the operating table. they did not find the cancer and left the left side in. then they found the cancer. The biopsy should be used to determine what they do to prevent 2 surgerys. I had my first surgery on June 19 and the 2nd one on July 6. the 2nd surgery is much harder then the first. im wondering if you have my dr. because he said the same exact thing to me. then they joyful Benign word afterword, only to have to tell me that they found it.

Tamika30
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

I am in the same boat as you.

I had four biopies on a cyst in my thyroid over the course of two years. All the tests came back negative and I was told I was ok and did not have anything to worry about.

It was not until after the last biopsy that I start having pain in my right ear and neck that I said take it out. My doctor was still acting like everything was ok and said I can have the surgery if I want. I say yes

First surgery was on 6/16/2009, right thyroid was removed. They found Papillary with variant follular cancer. My doctor was surprised. The results did not come in until one week later.

Second surgery was 6/23/2009 the remainder of thyroid was removed. Test they say are benign. I am on a low idoine diet awaiting radiation.

Do you have pain in your neck or feel like you have an earache and toothache at the same time?

I do not think they biosy my lymnodes. They said they are ok by looking at them.

Jfoga143
Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2009

i just started getting an earache tonight. No pain in my teeth. my biggest bother is my voice and the pain. The doctor didnt say anything about removal of the stitches. I dont see him again for a month. I have to see another doctor this week who will do the RAI treatment. they put me on the thyroid medicine. I have been reading and some people dont have to have the RAI. My cancer was a very small amount. I hope they change their mind. I dont think i can manage if im any more fatigued then i am right now.

kmt624
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2009

I have heard that RAI is a great precaution for reoccurance. It acts like a smart bomb and kills any microscopic cells that were not removed during surgery. Although, I have heard people of opting not to do it bc of small tumor size. My tumor was small, but my doctor wants me to do it. I also had several lymph nodes with thyroid cancer in them. I have been told be several survivors to do the RAI regardless to decrease my chance of reoccurance and to be sure they got every last bit. I know the fatigue is a pain, I feel the same way. But I would rather a few weeks of being really tired than my cancer to come back. Its a hard choice I know, sometimes having more than on perspective helps. Good luck!

kmt624
Posts: 10
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kathleen,

In my case the took out my entire thyroid to decrease reoccurance, the cancer was on one side. But they do a biopsy during surgery to determine if its cancer. In my case they could tell it was cancer just by looking at my thyroid during surgery, and because I had so many enlarged lymph nodes that looked cancerous. Pathology did confirm the findings as well. I think it is individual, sometimes they can tell its cancer by looking at it, and others they have to wait for pathology results. Good luck.

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