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Extremely high Thyroglobulin post surgery

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010


Can you please help as no one seems to be able to give us an answer.

8 days after a total thyroidectomy (found 1 papillary cancer nodule 0.8 cm)the following test results came back.

Thyroglobulin Quantitative - 1595.0 ng/mL
Antithyroglobulin Ab <20
Thyroxine (T4) Freee (Direct) 0.97 ng/dL
TSH 8.100h uIU/mL
PTH, Intact 28 pg/mL
Calcium, Ionized, Serum 4.6 mg/dL

Everything we are reading online tells us that the extremely high Thyroglobulin is a significant indicator of cancer.

Can anyone please comment.


Posts: 104
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm not sure if you're reading the results correctly. According to what you typed, they found a papillary cancer nodule, which means you have thyroid cancer. Did they not tell you this already? It could also mean it has metastisized or there is residual tissue left. Having the RAI treatment should kill any residual cells/tissue. It should be your next step. Radio-Iodine Treatment. Please ask your doctor.

Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Winterlink,
I also had high thyroglobulin post surgery. Are they planning on giving you radioactive iodine treatments? I am almost 2 years post op and my thyroglobulin is still detectable. I have had 2 RAI treatments and may have to have a 3rd. Be sure and ask them what the next step is in your treatment plan.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

Hi Lynn2318, I've been looking for folks who have had a high post-surgical Tg. Mine was 221. I'm just delving into what this might all lead to ... May I ask you first Tg after surgery and then RAI dosage levels and how your levels have been after each of your two treatments?

I hope you don't have to have a 3rd treatment. All the best to you ....

Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi wayneseattle, my thyroglobulin post surgery was in the 100's I think. After first treatment of 150+ millicures of RAI it came down to the 50's. Six months later I had another treatment which brought it down to 12 thank God. I am 2 years post surgery and my last Tg was 2.4. From what my endocrinologist says he wants it at 0 (unmeasurable). I asked if I was cancer free and he couldn't say yes. Was your cancer in your lymph nodes? Are you scheduled for radioactive iodine treatments? The best advice I have for you is to educate yourself because the doctors won't do it for you. Be sure to ask questions and make them answer you. I had to figure out I was a stage IV since it was in my lymph nodes. This site was really helpful. Anxious to hear back from you . Take care.

Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2010

Thanks Lynn.

I just did RAI last week. Recovering now, feeling good as meds start to kick in.

Along with TT, I had 14 lymph nodes removes, 7 were positive for cancer.

After the scan dose, my nuclear doc said he saw one more lymph node uptaking the RA.

He said he's not overly concerned about that one lymph node. However, he's "very concerned" about the 221. He said he'd be thrilled if I drop to the 50s six months from now. But he pretty much said he doubted that I'd fall that fast.

HOWEVER .... I'm scheduled to talk to my endocrinologist and I'm inquiring as to whether my Tg could be "inflated" due to thyroiditis, in other words if the remaining tissues have inflammation, which is known to cause the Tg level to elevate.

At the time of my diagnosis, my thyroid was enlarged (happened quickly) and tender. Given that I do have papillary, it's possible I had some sort of thyroid injury/malfunction at the time.

Thanks for the supportive message! And best of luck to you as well. I hope you drop to ZERO very soon. Keep us informed. Take care.

Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi, glad you have your first treatment behind you and you are feeling better. I have my next appt in August. Always get nervous about a month before. I can't help thinking that my thyroglobulin might be high and that would mean recurrence. I pray that God will take away my apprehensions. I feel bad to burden people with listening to my fears again. Please post what your endo says and your levels as they continue to come down. Thanks

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Hello, Winterlink and all,

I, too, am post-thyroidectomy, but I am 4 months post-op. My serum readings are:

Thyroglobulin TG-RI 1199 ng/mL
Anti-Tg 1309 IU/mL
Thyroxine(T-4)serum 14.6 ug/dL Ref. Range 4.2 - 13.0
Free Thyroxine 1.79 ug/dL Ref. Range 0.89 - 1.76
Free T-3 3.2 pg/mL Ref. Range 2.3 - 4.2

My recent ultrasound of the neck came back "OK" according to the clerk on the phone, and the doctor relayed the message to "Come back in a month." WHAT?!

Frankly, I am panicked. The pathology report in May confirmed papillary microcarcinomas, but not found beyond the margins. I have NO faith left in this doctor, after 14 months with him. I am now on the waiting list for a new endocrinologist and in 4 weeks I can get in to see the P.A., which my referring doctor (another one) said is the next best thing since without her I can't see the doctor until January 2011. My Tg and Anti-Tg have been climbing constantly since March 2010. But those levels were not tested during the previous 6 months, when I began feeling absolutely wretched. How long can things like this go on before the cancer becomes widespread? I understand it is "slow growing," but this is pretty frightening since I have been really sick for over 10 months. Thank you, if you're still reading this topic for any help, sympathy, info, advice or comment you may have.

Posts: 85
Joined: May 2009

did they find anything in the lymph nodes?

also, do you mean to say that your tg and tgab after your operation (in MArch?) were lower, and they have been consistently increasing. if so, it is definitely time for some scans. Pre or post op, did you have any ct, pet or mri of the body?

also how old are you?

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010


Thanks so much for your reply. No, there was no cancer found in the three lymph nodes they took. No, my numbers have been climbing steadily since first measured in February, 2010. The Tg and anti-Tg started at 344 and 528 in February, higher in March (417/407), surgery the end of MAY, readings MUCH higher in June (2462/832), and now in August they were 1199 and 1309. So Tg has climbed consistently, but Tg-ab dropped some between June and August. I had an U/S (ultra sound) of the throat in September that was called "OK" by the nurse on the phone (grrr) and she told me to come back in a month. WHAT?? I haven't picked up my copy yet. I am changing doctors but that means a 5 week wait just to get in to see the PA for the new doc. I'm in a city with not enough endos.

I am 64. I feel really lousy 24/7.

And I am getting scared.

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