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Hurthle Cell questions

Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 2010

I am going to be having surgery since Hurthle cells were found on my biopsy. Haven't had the appointment with the surgeon yet.

I read here somewhere that this cancer is slow-growing and aggressive. Isn't that contradictory?

I have osteoporosis. If this is malignant and I need treatment, it sounds like your TSH level gets so low that it hurts your bones? Below .4.

If this is so rare, there are probably no specialists in Denver who have alot of experience with this. Should I consider going to MD Anderson or the Mayo Clinic?

I couldn't get an appoinyment to see the surgeon until a month after the biopsy. I have a 10 day overseas trip planned one month after I see the surgeon. Would it be wise to cancel and have this taken care of asap? I'm thinking the doctor will tell me to go.



Posts: 18
Joined: May 2010

Hello Sue, have you talked to Rocky Mt. Cancer Center at Rose Medical Center in Denver? They are familiar with thyroid cancer and actually that is where I am trying to pursue treatment. I should find out on Mon hopefully when I will have an appt. I have heard alot of good things about them, granted my co-workers daughter had breast cancer but they do come highly recommended to me by people I know. Dr. Fiener there at Rocky Mt. Cancer Center is who you would probaly want to see that is who I am trying to get an appt with. I hope you can find help and that you are doing well. Please keep us updated and if there is anything else I can do for you I will try to help.


Posts: 17
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Sue,
Definitely check with your Dr on timing for your trip. A lot will be dependent on your particular situation.

I very recently had Hurthle Cell Carcinoma. I had an ultrasound in the beginning of June and had a large thyroid nodule. Because the nodule was large, it was recommended that I have thyroid surgery within 4-6 weeks. I had a vacation scheduled for the 2nd week of June and enjoyed the rest and relaxation prior to dealing with the medical situation.

Have you had thyroid surgery already, or was the Hurthle Cell diagnosed though a fine needle aspiration? My tumor was not diagnosed as HCC until I had thyroid surgery to remove the nodule (I had the right lobe and isthmus removed). During the surgery, it is typical to have a frozen section tested for cancer. If the results are negative or inconclusive you are sewn up and go home the next day.

Although my tumor was Hurthle Cell, I was told that the likelihood of cancer was only 10-15%. If cancer is found, however, a total thyroidectomy is recommended within a couple weeks before scar tissue forms. I found out a week after my surgery that my tumor was cancerous. I had the second surgery on Aug. 10, 2 weeks after the first surgery.

After a thyroidectomy, the treatment for cancer is radiocactive iodine treatment. To prepare for this, you need to first starve your body of thyroid hormones (4-6 weeks).
You could go on vacation during this time, but you will be fatigued. You also need to follow a low iodine diet for 2-3 weeks prior to the I 131 treatment. The diet is pretty limiting, so if you travel you will need to be able to cook your own food.

MD Anderson and the Mayo clinic are highly recommended. I opted to have my treatment local to where I live. After I-131 you need to be isolated for 5-7 days. Logistically, it would be difficult to travel too far for treatment since after radiation you can't take public transportation, be in a car with others more than an hour, or stay in a hotel.

Hope all this rambling is helpful! All the best to you.

Posts: 10
Joined: Sep 2010

I haven't had my surgery yet. I saw the surgeon on Sept 27 and can't get in for surgery until Nov 30! I checked another highly recommended surgeon and the wait with him was even longer.

I will be having a total thyroidectomy. After the FNA, the endocrinologist said the chance of this being malignant was 20%, but the surgeon said a little higher because my sister had breast cancer.

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