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Colorectal Survivor, Now Have Thyroid Problems

Posts: 28
Joined: Jan 2007

Had colorectal surgery December of last year. 6 months of chemo from January though July, this year. Had a thyroid ultrsound because my early cat scans this year showed some enlargement. After visiting with the endo doctor that I was referred to by my encologist to get the scan results, I have three nodules which are scheduled for biopsy December 12th. He had the biopsies worked into the schedule from way out in mid January to Dec 12th. He has taken blood work twice, and I am doing a 24 hour urine collection tomorrow. I don't know what to think about all this, but obviously I am worried, because of my round with colon cancer. Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated. I have a lot of questions, but would like your input first.

Rustifox's picture
Posts: 120
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi, MickeyW... sorry to hear you've had such a rough year.

First, please know that over 90% of nodules found in thyroids are benign, and of no concern at all; only approximately 10% will be worriesome enough to have them completely removed, and biopsied - and even then, a fairly high percentage will still be benign.

The reason they are doing the 24 hour urine is likely to test you for iodine uptake. Another way of testing these things is by doing a I-131 scan, which may show if the nodules are 'hot' or 'cold', and again, gives a better idea if they are benign growths. I-131 is iodine based (and is also used for treatment for us, particularly with papillary or follicular variants of thyroid cancer, if that is found.) This radioactive iodine is perfect for thyroid issues, as it only targets thyroid tissue; when used for a scan, it is primarily 'sucked up' by thyroid tissues throughout the body.

However, if you've had recent CT scans, a similar iodine base dye is used; for anywhere from 3 to 12 months following a CT scan, it can impair our uptake of radioactive iodine (mosty thyroid cancer patients rarely have CT's with contrast dye used during treatments for this reason).

Nonetheless, a low iodine diet can also help improve uptake of radioactive iodine, so there are ways and means of dealing with it.

While I know we always worry, once we've had one diagnosis of cancer, please try to keep this in perspective, for your own health and peace of mind. 90% of nodules will be benign, and approximately 93% of thyroid cancers are successfully treated, even if it were thyca. You have done a big battle this year, and hopefully your concerns will all be resolved by the biopsies. Take care, and all the best to you.

Posts: 872
Joined: Feb 2007

Hi Mickey,

I, too had colorectal surgery in August '06 followed by chemo thru Feb. '07. My last CT scan showed a mass of some sort on my thyroid, but my oncologist does not seem very concerned. He said we will just watch it for growth. I wonder if this is inspired by the chemo....


Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi Mickeyw - I am a thyroid cancer survivor. Almost 28 years ago at age 16 I was diagnosed, had my thyroid and 3 of my parathyroid removed, and have survived to have a very normal life. It is my understanding that thyroid cancer is one of the cancers that is most successfully treated - it certainly was in my case. In coincidental twist, I was just diagnosed with Colon Cancer, and am scheduled for surgery in 4 weeks. Guess I will get to add colon cancer survivor to my resume...Good luck to you.

krystiesq's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Jun 2008

Recap, mom dx 07 colon cancer, most recent pet shows uptake in thyroid with two areas of increased activity. Go in next monday to meet with ENT. What questions should I ask and what should I expect...and advice much appreciated.

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