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second surgery option?

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2006

I had my thyroid removed to Papillary thryoid cancer and they did the operation as a precaution against Medullary Carcinoma of the Thyroid, because that is what my mother had.

I assumed the more extensive thryoidectomy, which included removal of some lymph nodes and the anterior fat pad (I think that's what they called it) would mean no thyroid left. Yet when I went for my Radio active scan - it showed 11% left. The doc did the Radioactive treatment, and I had an ultrasound. The prognosis is since the pathology shows nothing intervascular and no lymph node involvement, the small nodes and lymph nodes on the ultrasound, are benign.

I am considered to be stage 2 or 3 because of this remaining portion and must continue to be followed up for life, to wait and see if there is spread. But here is my question, why not just take out the remaining thyroid and I will be stage 1 (from my understanding)?

Also, a doc said some patients he has seen had both MCT and Papillary and they are both close on the DNA strand. (My DNA and mothers is negative for MEN 2b & 2a.) There is no way of knowing for sure, if the nodes still in my thryoid are cancerous or not, or what type. Radioactive iodine does not kill Medullary cancer cells, because they are not typical thryoid cells.

I can think of every argument for second surgery and none against. My parathyroids were already damaged in the first surgery and don't work, I don't mind a large scar, and the risk to my vocal cords to me is worth it, if it means lowering the risk of recurrent cancer, even by only a small percent.

Any thoughts? Has anyone heard of second surgery rather than just being "watched"? Is there something I am missing? because this to me seems like the only solution.

Thank you.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006


You may want to consider contacting the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Information Center. Cancer Information Specialists are available 24 hours a day and can assist you with your questions. They can be reached at 1-800-227-2345.

Take care and be well,

CSN Dana

Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2004

Dear BTrue,

I would get a second opinion for sure! I don't know where you live, but M D Andersen Cancer Center is one of the best in the world for thyroid cancer. I am so sorry that you are having to deal with such incompetence. I have a list of some of the top doctors and surgeons for thyroid cancer in the US. If you want to contact me, please e-mail me at tcbuds@whidbey.com

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2006

Actually I'm in Canada now, but I do have a second scan coming up next week and plan on inquiring about more surgery/options regardless if the rest of tissue was killed by radioactive iodine or not. The more left, if I understand right, the more chance of recurrence.
My main concern is my Radiologist has difficulty understand English - and brushes things off or gives an answer having nothing to do with the question. My Endocrinologis though, is good with answering questions. Wish me luck.

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