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Thyroglobulin level

luvmygirls
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2011

If your thyroglobulin level is not at zero, doesn't this mean that you still have microscopic cancer cells somewhere in your body? My husband has had 5 re-occurances in the past 13 years, he has never been at zero. Our 16 yr old daughter, also with papillary carcinoma, had TT last June, and I-131 in July 2010. Recently, at check-up her thyroglobulin was 1.0 . The doc says the level can still come down to zero, because she is still in the process of therapy...other words her I-131 is still working. Has anyone had these same results....im worried and stressed to the max!

alapah's picture
alapah
Posts: 259
Joined: Oct 2009

My understanding is that thyroglobulin of greater than zero indicates that there remain some thyroid cells, though Tg in itself cannot indicate the presence of cancerous thyroid cells - simply thyroid cell existence. It is also true that I-131 works for months and I think they say sometimes it can crest before going down. A key with Tg is the TREND. You want to see a downward trend. If it goes up, more tests need to be done to determine what is going on (ie, new nodule growth, mets, etc). You have to stay on top of it, as I am sure you and your husband are aware.

Thyca.org has some really useful information on the I-131 process and also helpful explanations of various labs and tests, including Tg. (http://www.thyca.org/thyroglobulin.htm). I found it to be a great site for understanding thyroid cancer a little better.

Make sure to always get copies of all labs and tests so you can be your own advocate. Always ask the docs any questions you may have. Very best to you all.
eileen

nasher
Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

9 months after RAI my thyroglobulin QN is <0.10 ng/mL <-- considered undetectable
prior to RAI my thyroglobulin QN was 2.41 ng/ml

it also matters what your thyroidglobulin antibodies is at (mine is alos <20IU/mL)<--undetectable

so for me if eithor of these numbers becomes detectable in the future it means I have a likely reocourance.

again it is all about the amount you have and how it changes if your husbands levels have not changed then the amount of thyroid tisue in the body has not changed if it goes up then it is likely there is a re-occurance.

what was your daughters thyroglobulin level prior to RAI and 2-3 months after ... is the number going down or stable.

again the fact that there is a thyroglobulin QN level means there is thyroid tissue left dose not mean cancer but if it is increasing then it probably is cancer.

again you can learn alot about reading lab results as have I but you then need to take all the info you have learned about the labs and point out your concerns to your/there doctor they are the only one who can tell you whats up.

good luck keep us informed and ask as many questions as you can think of

Craig

Linda Jo
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

I had a thyroidectomy in Feb. 2010 and the I-131 treatment. Over the course of the last year, my thyroglobulin levels have come down but are not low enough. Currently is 2.1 and Dr. says it needs to go down to at least 0.2. I also have antibodies which throw off these numbers -- Dr. says 2.1 is not accurate and is, more than likely, higher. It is now time to do the prep to the body scan to see if there is remaining thyroid tissue. This tissue may still be producing hormones and throwing off the numbers or it could be cancerous. The oncologist is pretty sure I will need the I-131 again. Also, the endocrinologist has been sending my last three blood labs to UCLA for testing because of the antibodies--I guess their results are more accurate. It did take a year for these numbers to come down and I believe it will continue to drop. Maybe your daughter's numbers will drop also in the next few months.

My dilemma, right now, is trying to decide whether I want to go through the 6 week withdrawal of synthroid for the prep or get the thyrogen injections so I don't have to stop the synthroid. I was told the thyrogen injections help to clear out the radiation faster from the organs and the bone marrow.

Linda Jo
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

I had a thyroidectomy in Feb. 2010 and the I-131 treatment. Over the course of the last year, my thyroglobulin levels have come down but are not low enough. Currently is 2.1 and Dr. says it needs to go down to at least 0.2. I also have antibodies which throw off these numbers -- Dr. says 2.1 is not accurate and is, more than likely, higher. It is now time to do the prep to the body scan to see if there is remaining thyroid tissue. This tissue may still be producing hormones and throwing off the numbers or it could be cancerous. The oncologist is pretty sure I will need the I-131 again. Also, the endocrinologist has been sending my last three blood labs to UCLA for testing because of the antibodies--I guess their results are more accurate. It did take a year for these numbers to come down and I believe it will continue to drop. Maybe your daughter's numbers will drop also in the next few months.

My dilemma, right now, is trying to decide whether I want to go through the 6 week withdrawal of synthroid for the prep or get the thyrogen injections so I don't have to stop the synthroid. I was told the thyrogen injections help to clear out the radiation faster from the organs and the bone marrow.

miladyx
Posts: 85
Joined: May 2009

Is your tg 2.1 with the ucla testing ? Also is it UCLA or USC??

Linda Jo
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, it is. I may have made a mistake -- could've been USC. Do you have more info about this?

miladyx
Posts: 85
Joined: May 2009

I just know USC is less likely to be interfered by tgab but still not 100% accurate.

How was your tg with previous labs ? Was it showing undetectable due to antibodies??

sfl67
Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2009

My doctor sends all my labs to USC Endocrine Laboratories in Los Angeles, CA, in case this helps.

Shelia

nasher
Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

ask your doc or the recoards secton for a copy of your labs for the last few bloodwork (will probaly need a from and to date)

With a little online reserch you can figure alot more about your lab results and come up with better questions to ask your doctor

Linda Jo
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

I will ask for copies of all my lab reports for the last year and compare. I always ask questions, especially about the numbers and have felt somewhat relieved that the number has continued to go down. I don't know why I just can't wait and have another blood test in a few months to see if it drops further, instead of doing the prep and scan. Thanks you for your suggestion.

Linda Jo
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

I think the 2.1 refers to the tg level. The antibodies, however, make that number unreliable, according to the drs.

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