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Had papillary thyroid cancer, new symptoms point to lymphoma?

wendriful's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

Can any of you tell me if you have had this happen to you? I have had invasive malignant melanoma, then papillary thyroid and lymphnode cancer; total thyroidectomy, Jan. 09; Now I have symptoms: since November, enlarged lymphnodes and then they were painful and even in my face, like salivary glands...that subsided and docs were just thinking it was a reaction from the RAI from March 09.

Now, I have new symptoms along with the enlarged lymphnodes (they did an utrasound last week and are determining whether to get a thyroid scan or do a biopsy of the nodes that are not palpable but over a cm (or maybe it was an inch) I can't remember.

My symptoms are as follows:
enlarged lymphnodes in neck
One huge lymphnode in groin was removed last summer after RAI, benign
itching everywhere
2 weeks ago, completely lost my voice, haven't had that since after surgery for Total thyroidectomy.
fatigue (used to do zumba/kickboxing, etc. at least 3 times a week)
raspy voice
dry cough started but only at night for about a week.

I realize that these point to lymphoma of some kind and/or laryngeal cancer, but seems that maybe they also fit under other more simple explanations like starting menapause? or common cold? I am a 43 year old female and WOULD SO APPRECIATE your input.

Any ideas if I should go to someone other than an ENT?

Thanks in advance for your care and support.

Wendy in Michigan

Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Wendy, I just read your post. I myself have papillary Thyroid Cancer and on March 17th I am having my thyroid removed. When I went to the surgeon for consultation she asked me a lot of questions one being have I noticed a change in my voice. I told her I did along with having a hard time swallowing, etc. She scheduled me to see an ENT. She said that cancer can be in the nerve I guess near the voice box so they need to check on that. What the doctor will do, if that is the case, is remove the nerve. I don't know if this is any help. You have been through a lot Wendy and this can be you having reactions from your other procedures and this will subside as you get healthier. Lets hope this is the case.

Also, I was just on the chat room for the first time. The people are so nice. Just thought I let you know. Maybe we can chat tomorrow night.


Posts: 104
Joined: Dec 2009

With your past history I would definitely follow up with your symptoms. It could be recurrent thyroid cancer. It may be something else, but I would seek your endocrinologist out and move forward with whatever testing is necessary. Hopefully, it's just side effects or something simple, but I wouldn't second guess it. Get yourself taken care of!!

wendriful's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

The good news, I convinced doc to have a course needle ultrasound guided biopsy done and the lymphnode they biopsied is benign. The bad news is that I still have swollen lymphnodes, itching and fatigue...uggh.

Thanks for reaching out. I guess I will just keep an eye on the nodes and he told me to get over the counter clariton...Gee, wonder if a flea bath might work better. lol Whatever.

;) Wendy
*At least I didn't have to go hypohell for another 6 weeks and endure RAI for now.

Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi Wendy,

I have had some swollen lymph nodes under my arm pit (obviously not local to the thyroid) but I wanted to see if you had any continued symptoms since you last posted. I was also curious as to how the corse needle ultrasound guided biopsy went and why you selected that method vs. an FNA?

Cheers, JJ

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi Wendy, How are you doing? Did you ever get any answers?

I have had swollen glands in my neck for 2 to 3 months now along with a sore/dry throat, horse voice, and fatigue. I have had a low white blood cell count as well.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer, had my Entire Thyroid removed and did RAI. Last year they did a follow up scan which was negative.

I felt fine until a few months ago. My endocrinologist did a Thyrogobulin (Negative) and an Ultrasound which came back negative for my Thyroid but showed a shadowy area under my Left Neck Muscle. She thinks Im low risk due to the negative Thyroglobulin and ordered a repeat ultrasound in 3 months.

If it is a swollen lymph node and related to lymphoma and not Thyroid Cancer, the Thyroglobulin test would be irrelevant wouldnt it?

It sounds like we have similar symptoms, so just curious how you are doing. I am so sick of feeling this way with no answers! My Family Doc says the Low White Cell Count is probably Auto-Immune related but she hasnt seen the ultrasound results, only my Endocrinologist.

Hope you are doing better,
Suzi (also in Michigan)

Jules47's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: Jul 2011

I too had my thyroid removed 2 years ago because of thyroid cancer and some lymph nodes were removed as well at the time of my surgery. But I have this one huge lymph node in the back of my neck that has been swollen since before my surgery and continues to be there and never goes down. But I've been wondering the exact same thing about my thyroglobulin being negative, but if I had a different cancer if it would even show up on that test!

I've actually decided I'm just going to see whomever I need to to get a biospy on this thing because I'd rather know than not know.

I hope all of you are getting some answers by now and are feeling "better" lol

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi Wendy.......All of the symptoms you spoke about are exactly the same thing as I am going through. I have had melanoma cancer. They removed my thyroid and some lymph nodes in February. I just went back last week and the ultrasound showed abnormal submandibular nodes have increased in size and are concerning for metastic disease. NOw they are saying my TSH LEVELS HAVE WENT FROM .1 TO .44. They have switched my pills 4 times. Began at 50, went to 100 after surgery, then back down to 50 and after my visit the other day it's now at 75mg. I have really bad headaches and my salivary gland acts up every now and then. It is hurting all through my face now. I go back in tomorrow to find out if they are going to do the second biopsy on the swollen lymph node (the first one was negative) or surgery again. I don't know what to do. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you....trying to stay strong in VA.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013

Hy, I myself was diagnosed with stage 2 papillary thyroid cancer and some follicular thyroid cancer or medullary I'm not sure but it was one of the two. i had total thyroid removed December 16, 2011. I had a mass over my lums so I too had hoarse voice and cough. The surgery took over 5 hours and I had to stay in the hospital for 3 days. Then in January I had one of the bigger doses of RAI-131. I was quarenteened for nearly 3 in a half-weeks from my family and friends. Had more ultra-sounds, lab-work, etc. than I can count. Don't really phase me anymore but I understand how the waiting is very difficult. I struggled with depression during that time by myself. God is good and helped me take it one day at a time and slowly started work part-time at McDonalds and things had been going okay lately. I also was hypothroidism and gained a lot of weight but I'm now slowly working it off through walking at the gym and being on my feet at work. Im just trying to be more active. But, last summer an ultrasound revealed enlarged lymph nodes but doc wanted to wait for awhile but a month or so ago we did another one and the nodes were even bigger so we did a biopsy which didn't provide any help so I this week I had starting Monday I had lab work and my first thyrogen shot. Tuesday another thyrogen shot. Wednesday lab work and went to hospital to take small dose of 131 to get ready for my scan on Friday. Im off today. But, tomorrow I do another lab test and then go down to the hospital for my nuclear body scan. In the mean time, I have to stay away from my family again for 3 days or so. Sunday is my birthday and I'm turning 31 so I'm getting out and watching my sister at her softball tournament in Columbia, Missouri. Long story short In total, I have had to wait nearly a month to find out anything and it's driving me crazy. i did ok staying busy the first two weeks but not it's getting long. I hope your results were good and everything is okay now but I was curious to see what you found out because my doctors are worried it spread to my lymph nodes and it may spread to the rest of the body. I know with treatment I will be fine but I'm discouraged that I may very well likely have to keep doing this kind of stuff the rest of my life. Even though, they, "it's the best cancer you could have gotten" I worry about it coming back a lot because my health has been very unpredictable the last 5 years. See before this I had 5 very bad seizures before this but by God's grace we have them controlled through meds. Anyway, I'm trying to hold to my faith and hope that God will help me get through this however somedays are harder than others.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2013


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