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Hashimoto's & thyroid cancer followup testing

Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2010

I have Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroiditis) and was just recently diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. I am going to have a thyroidectomy very soon, and I'm concerned about the followup testing that is necessary to check for recurrence. I know that testing thyroglobulin is kind of the primary marker for recurrence, but when you have Hashimoto's, your body makes antibodies that sort of 'eat' thyroglobulin. So for me, that probably won't be a reliable test. That said, I don't want to expose myself to radiation every 3 to 6 months either! I'm wondering, does anyone else have Hashi's and thyroid cancer, who can give me some insight as to what reliable and safe testing can be done as far as followup testing?

The real kicker here is that I live in a state that has very few medical facilities, only about enough specialists to count on one hand, and I tend to know more about my condition than my doctors (even though i have some really excellent doctors on my team). I'm sure those of you with Hashi's can relate to that, even in places with lots of medical care available. I need to know what to make sure happens so that my Hashi's doesnt interfere with my followup testing by causing false negatives or positives. Does that make sense?

(Man, you know you're in a tough spot when you have a hard time even trying to explain what your question is! :))

alapah's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Oct 2009

I have TgAB antibodies too. Apparently I had Hashi's and did not know until I was dx with thyroid cancer.

After surgery and RAi my antibodies are still present but my endo told me that in some cases the antibodies go away after TT and RAI which means the Tg reading can then become a useful marker for follow up - so don't give up hope on that front!

My follow up has been mainly ultrasound and labs with a tracer dose of I-131 at six months, so pretty low exposure. I have had complications that required more imagery but my case in not typical. I think most people are on a schedule similar to what I describe - i suppose we'll see when folks respond.

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