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tests to determine cancer, etc.

momtoboys
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2010

Hi,
I am new on this website....I have lots of questions and concerns...

I was diagnosed hypothyroid in 1996 and have been taking synthroid all this time. After my second son was born in 2003, a nodule was found on the right side of my thyroid gland. It was sonogrammed and the endocrinologist did a fine needle aspiration....the results were fine, so we just monitored it.

This past December, I wasn't feeling well, went to my primary doctor and she drew blood. My TSH was elevated, so she upped my synthroid. In February, I went back because my neck was swollen and I was having a hard time swallowing. She said the swelling was due to the increase in the synthroid. The swelling went down. I went back on March 2 for another blood test. She upped my synthroid again. I started researching different doctors and went to a new doctor in mid-April. The new doctor sonogrammed the nodule and was very concerned about it....he said it looked "suspicious"...he said it had good blood flow and the lymph node next to it was enlarged as well.

I had a FNA on Monday, April 19th. The results came back normal. THe doctor has requested I do a thyroid scan and uptake to be certain. He says if it is a "cold" nodule, it should come out. I just started taking cytomel this past weekend and stopped the synthroid to prepare for the scan.

My questions:

1. Which test is more definitive...the scan or the FNA? I really want peace of mind, so I am open to both. From what I have read, it seems like lots of people get the diagnosis of cancer AFTER a surgery. THis bothers me for some reason.

2. Could something else cause the lymph node to be enlarged?

3. Is Cytomel necessary? What can I expect from it? What are the side effects?

4. Any advice on dealing with the hypothryoidism leading up to the scan would be appreciated. I follow a pretty healthy diet already. I am dreading this...

5. Also, what is the low iodine diet? Should I be following it prior to the scan?

I am pretty stressed out and scared about the whole thing. I appreciate any advice coming my way :-)

Thanks,
Marlo

nasher
Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

synthroid is a long term thyroid medicine that takes months to get out of your body

cytomel is a short term thyroid medicine that will get out of your body in about 2 weeks

they probaly swaped so in a few months they can take you off Cytomel and put you on the low iodine diet for 2 weeks and then do the scans.

if they didnt do this step you would basically be off any thyroid replacement for 4+ months vs 2 weeks.

mind you i might have the names confused but basically there is a long term thyroid replacement that takes about 6 months to get out of your system so they can do the radioactive iodine scans and if necessary treatment. so they normally put you on the one that leaves your system quicker (2 weeks) so you only feel out of it for 2 weeks while they keep you on the low iodine diet.

if you look up thyca.org they have a good resource about the low iodine diet and some tasty recipes.

i have been on the LID for 2+ weeks now and tomorrow or Thursday i will be getting my radiation treatment.

don't worry most of us get pretty stressed about the whole thing.

hope you have a nice clean scan

weberdns
Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2010

If you have questions about the Radiation or need someone to talk to let me know!! e-mail me at weberdns@zoomintenet.net or post questions here. I visit frequently!! 26 hours until my final scan!

weberdns
Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2010

1. Which test is more definitive...the scan or the FNA? I really want peace of mind, so I am open to both. From what I have read, it seems like lots of people get the diagnosis of cancer AFTER a surgery. THis bothers me for some reason. Neither test . They can't tell which is benign or malignant. My biggest concern is that your nodule is growing and starting to interfere with swallowing. If you are symptomatic it should be removed and pathologically examined. Without that there is no definite way to know if it is benin or malignant. There is a thought that all "hot tumors" should be removed" but in the cold tumors they may just not be at the spot where there is any tissue, especially if it is cystic.

2. Could something else cause the lymph node to be enlarged? An infection could....but right next to a nodule....way to coincidental in my book!

3. Is Cytomel necessary? What can I expect from it? What are the side effects? - I was on Cytomel. It is short acting. You take it twice a day. Some people have side effects like palpitations, tremors, etc. but I didn't have any at all! I was on it for 3 weeks from my surgery until I was off it for my RAI treatment

4. Any advice on dealing with the hypothryoidism leading up to the scan would be appreciated. I follow a pretty healthy diet already. I am dreading this... - First of all - don't freak!! The diet is tough but I kept it simple. I didn't use the cookbook I had a menu of Breakfast - Cream of wheat or rolled oats and fruit. Lunch - no salt PB & J on unsalted matzo bread, salad, fruit, or an egg white with onions and peppers and fruit. Dinner was alwasy grilled meat, pasta, salad, and fruit. I have little to no problems with being hypo. I worked and drove, and felt good....but I was in bed by 9 PM!

5. Also, what is the low iodine diet? Should I be following it prior to the scan? - You should be on it 2 weeks before your scan. My endo wanted me on it for 3. I was on it until 72 hours after my full dose of iodine. For moer information on it go to http://www.thyca.org/Cookbook.pdf

I am pretty stressed out and scared about the whole thing. I appreciate any advice coming my way :-) We all get stressed and scared about it. I will be finished with my final body scan tomorrow at 1 PM. See the entry titled today is the day for my journal articles on my experience or feel free to e-mail me at weberdns@zoominternet.net! It really isn't as bad as we think that it's going to be!

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