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TG levels - Thyroid cancer... new member

Steven123
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

Hello All,

I have a TG level of 1 and TSH of .47 but a stimulated TG level of 5 and stimulated TSH of 160, my iodine uptake whole body scan was negative, I had RAI treatment for papilliary cancer in Febuary of this year, does this result mean that I still have thyroid cancer present? I am a 40 year old male and in good health but very scared. They say that most people are cured of this cancer is this true? Thank you Steven

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2009

All thyroid cells produce thyroglobulin, cancerous or not, so if you have a slightly elevated Tg it doesn't automatically indicate disease. But it is possible for thyroid cells to become non-avid to iodine which means they would no longer show on an iodine uptake scan. Not saying that is what is going on for you, just wanted to let you know.Has your Tg remained stable or is it trending up? Trends seem to be what docs look for in the lower ranges. Did they talk about doing a PET scan or a CT scan? It does take a while for Tg to go down after surgery and treatment and if your numbers are trending down, the docs may feel that continued monitoring is all that is required. Were you able to ask the docs about what they think is going on and if any addtional scans or tests are warranted?

Steven123
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

Thank you for responding to my question, my Tg has remained stable since after my RAI treatment in Feburay of this year. I have had two non-stimulated tg tests and both have come back at 1. My Tg after my RAI on Thyrogen was 5 back in February and again just had my WBS which was negative but my stimulated Tg was 5. My oncologist wants to wait 4 months and re take the test again. My endo wants me to do a neck ultra sound within the next 4 months. I did ask my oncologist about what is going on and she said that it could be residule thyroid tissue or cancer ..... she has no personality and I always feel so sad after meeting with her. BTW my thyroid antibodies are around 25 - my Dr. said that anything under 40 is what they look for.

Any addtional adivce / toughts would be greatly appreciated..I'm just very scared about the whole issue........

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 258
Joined: Oct 2009

i have TgAB too (around 20 or 15 now - been declining since surgery in June 09) and after a year and a half of labs and CT/PET scans the docs have decided that, for me, the Tg figure is not reliable. We know i have nodules in my lungs from the CT scans. My Tg and TgAB have generally been trending down. The hope is that the antibodies will disappear over time (which they can do) and that would make the Tg number meaningful.

It really is awful when docs have crappy personalities and don't feel the need to try to help their patients by taking the time to explain what is going on or what they think is going on and why they believe 'x' treatment or monitoring is the best way to go. I'd get the ultrasound as often as they recommend. it's non-invasive and doesn't expose you to radiation or harmful things so why not. I get that done in addition to CTs since we know i have residual disease Do you have options to explore other docs? Sometimes insurance or location don't allow for that but if you are able to seek another opinion from an endo or oncologist who specializes in thyroid cancer it might help you feel more knowledgeable and empowered. I canned my first oncologist because we did not mesh well - i am sure he was smart and good at his job but I like to ask questions and i don't think he liked dealing with that. i have a complicated case of papillary thyca and was told i should have external beam radiation in addition to RAI (which I did) but i sought out about 5 other opinions from radiation oncologists before committing to it - largely for peace of mind.

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