Mar 18, 2013 - 10:58 pm
My husband is 66 years old and was diagnosed in August 2012 with Thyroid Cancer, which had spread to his lymph nodes on the right side. Our primary care physician referred us to an ENT. The ENT had scheduled my husband for a total thyroidectomy and told us he was going to use the "berry picking" method of checking his lymph nodes in question. My husband wasn't happy with this method of treatment and we did a lot of research to find a doctor that specialized in thyroid surgery and an oncologist who also specialized in thyroid cancer and endocrinology and proceeded to change doctors.
Surgery was performed on Octoer 3, 2012. 50 Lymph noded were removed and 14 of them were cancerous in all VI levels of the neck. He had his central neck and right neck dissected. He had no swelling, no pain, and no complications. The surgeon did a wonderful job and was so kind and caring to boot. His diagnosis was Hurthle Cell variant of Papillary Carcinoma, T3,N1b. In November 2012 my husband had a Cat Scan and they saw 8 small nodules in his lungs (5 in the right lung and 3 in the left). In January 2013, he had a dose of 200 millicuries of radio active iodine that had uptake in a very very small amount. In early March 2013 he had a PET scan which didn't show the nodules because of their small size. My husband has diabetes and the PET scan results were a little bit skewed because of it. We now have to wait until July 2013 for a Thyrogen study to see if the nodules have gotten any bigger.
My question is: With Hurthle Cell Carcinoma, isn't there anything that we can do prevent these nodules from getting any bigger now? Waiting until July seems too long to wait. His oncologist has over 2000 patients and although I appreciate the fact that he is trying to help keep my husband alive, I would like to see some testing a little sooner. Does everybody wait this long between tests for lung metastases? Also, we know that T3,N1b isn't great, but is there anybody that can tell us what it really means? Very scared! Thank you.