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ktlcs's picture
ktlcs
Posts: 360
Joined: Jan 2010

I lost my husband to colon cancer in July 2010 and found out today that my 14 year old niece, who I am very close with, has papillary thyroid cancr which has spread to surrounding lymph nodes. She is scheduled for a total thyroidectomy and removal of the nodes on Aug 9. The Drs have not yet staged the cancer. Can anyone help me to understand what the surgery and follow up treatments are likely to be? And side effects? Will she be able to eat? speak?

Any answers would be most helpful

Kathy

amorriso
Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

Your niece is so young to have to go through this. I too had papillary carcinoma that spread to my lymph nodes. I had two surgeries, mainly because my first surgeon didnt have the skill to remove the lymph nodes. My voice was a bit rough after surgery one, but came back ok.

My second surgery removed 50 lymph nodes - only 7 were positive. I recovered very quickly from this one - partly because of a fantastic surgeon. No problems with my voice, eating etc. I did have some shoulder problems and lots of stiffness (but I'm also 45!). I started swimming after about 3 weeks - really helped with things. I have recovered well - its 5 months now and I am feeling good. Meds are getting regulated

So first advice - talk to and find a really good skilled surgeon who has done this type of surgery. Find a good endocronologist/oncologist to help your niece get good followup. She has the advantage of youth, so should make a perfect recovery. She should also try to link up with other young cancer patients - this website has some for younger patients.

Above all make sure she and you and the family ask every question you can think of. She will be fine - but she will will need lots of support.

Best of luck to her and you

Take care

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