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RAI 2 years after radiotherapy?

Kaylee-parotid's picture
Kaylee-parotid
Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2010

Still waiting on the results of my thyroid FNA (2 years after having had radiotherapy - which included the left side of my thyroid for a head and neck cancer in my parotid gland)

Does anyone know if they still do RAI if you've already had half the gland radiated? I'm sure my specialist knows what he's doing - and it's probably benign anyway (fingers crossed) but I was interested to know.

Also - any thoughts on the accuracy of FNA as a diagnostic tool? To what degree should I trust what it says?
Thanks
Kaylee

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

They still may want to do RAI because thyroid cells can be found floating around the body and not just contained to the thyroid bed. RAI would, in theory, help kill those roaming cells. I assume there will be a surgery to remove the right side of the thyroid, any affected lymph nodes and any residual tissue on the left. I know that surgery in an area subjected to radiotherapy is tricky so I hope that goes well. I had EBR to my neck - but after the thyroidectomy. Not an easy thing to go through.

FNA seems to be somewhat inconclusive as a diagnostic tool for many people. There are false positives and false negatives. In my case it was accurate but I had a large nodule to sample which meant they got a good stab at it. Even still, they told me they would not know for certain what kind of thyroid cancer it was until they ran pathology on the nodule itself.

best to you Kaylee - so sorry you're dealing with this now on top of the parotid cancer.
eileen

Kaylee-parotid's picture
Kaylee-parotid
Posts: 16
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks Eileen. What's EBR?

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

EBR=external beam radiation

nasher
Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

FNA

ok the FNA is a diagnostic tool if they find cancer its 100% accurate.

there are alot of times they will find out that it did not give a good result.

they will do RAI as many times as needed unless they have found it is resistant to RAI or you reach a lifetime exposure limit.

as far as having a large node and them having a good stab at it...

7.1cm goiter... had follicular cancer came back indeterminate but it was follicular cells.
multiple 3mm areas of papillary cancer not in the enlarged section.

so as far as I am concerned if it comes back positive for cancer its cancer.

FNA is a tool... it helps them determine the approach and what they will see if/when they go in.

3boys_mom
Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2011

I agree with Nasher. My brother does some malpractice suits (attorney) and he was most upset when he learned I was having a FNA. I explained that no matter what, the thyroid was coming out, so they would be able to do a real biopsy on it.

I have a 3cm nodule. They biopsied the nodule, but the part closest to my outer neck. Inside the nodule was a denser part that was too close to the esophagus for them to do the FNA. That's the one that has me concerned. My biopsy came back as Follicular lesions--so inconclusive.

Sarah

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