CSN Login
Members Online: 4

You are here

Hurthle Cell and Pregnant

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi, my name is Wendy. I'm 34 years old, 3 kids, and one on the way. I'm 16 weeks pregnant right now. I found a lump on the side of my neck about 5 months ago, a small one, and regrettably ignored it. I thought it was nothing and would just go away. Then I got pregnant about a month later, went to my OB for my first checkup. Then my next appointment came up and I mentioned it to her. She sent me for an ultrasound, then to a surgeon, who did a FNA biopsy. Came back as Hurthle cell neoplasm. I'd never heard of this before, so immediately started doing all the research I could. The surgeon never said the "C" word, cancer, but from everywhere I read, it was a possibility. Now here I am, 16 weeks pregnant, and having surgery tomorrow for a thyroid lobectomy, possible full thyroidectomy. My nodule is greater than 4 cm, less than 5 last they checked.

I have so many questions and can't really find the answers I'm looking for. Cancer runs through my family although thyroid cancer doesn't. My mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer, terminal stage 4, just 3 years ago, but has now been in remission for 2 years, praise God. I've had others close in my family with it as well that were not so fortunate. I'm preparing myself for the worst so I'm not completely blindsided. I have faith in God, and know that He is with me. I am concerned for the risk involved with having surgery while being pregnant, although they have reassured me (almost) that the second trimester is the safest time to do surgery for the baby.

I can't find blunt statistics on what the possibility is that this IS cancer anywhere and my doctor is very evasive when I ask. I know he doesn't want to go one way or the other and yet I need someone to be realistic and honest with me. I know that tomorrow I'll find out for sure after the surgery. I've never had any health problems, never even broken a bone!
I've read that nodules bigger than 4cm are 80% higher risk of being malignant. But when I asked my doctor, he said that's papillary cancers...although I'm pretty sure I was reading about hurthle cell. What happens after I have this removed...what if it's spread? What can I do for my baby?
I know there's little enough info out there on Hurthle cell carcinoma, but even LESS for women that are pregnant facing this. I've read little about radioactive iodine treatment just in case, but how will that play into when I have my baby, will I not be able to breastfeed? I've nursed all of my kids and cherish that privilege of being a mother and albeit not a big deal to some people, it breaks my heart that I may not have that opportunity with my most likely last child.

What are the survival rates if it does spread? My concern is that it's been there so long and I did NOTHING about it out of ignorance, thinking it would go away.
I have so many questions and feel like I'm on information overload already but I need to KNOW.
I'm not really scared, I know that my God is with me. I just don't like not knowing...


Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010


www.thyca.org is a great site and has lots of info about types of thyroid cancer and such

please ask your questions

i didnt have your type of cancer but i will try to answer as good as i can

in my experiance doctors never want to say cancer untill it is...

most thyroid cancer cases have a long life expectancy.

just cause Cancer runs in the faimly dosnt mean that its thyroid cancer... I hope its not

ask your questions we will answer to the best we can.. if the doctor wont tell you things ask him/her why and that you want to know about ... I brought a list when i talked to my doctors.

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks. I've checked out that website, very informative.
I guess I mostly want to hear those personal stories from people in my shoes, being pregnant and all.
I guess I'll find out soon enough... :|

forme's picture
Posts: 1162
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi georgia mom,
I was first dx with thy ca when I was pregnant. I too was concerned about what was next. I waited till I had my baby and nursed her. I then had surgery only. Since that time 1977, I have had two reoccurances , treated with more surgery and RAI. I am now receiving thyrogen injections to prepare for testing and RADS. Most thy ca is slow growing, medullary and anaplastic grow fast.
peaceful healing

Posts: 55
Joined: Nov 2009

I am a 60 year old mom of two daughters, one your age, and was diagnosed with Hurthle Cell Carcinoma Stage 3 in July 09. My understanding is that Hurthle cannot usually be diagnosed until removal and pathology. My tumor was 3cm, that along with my age at the time, accounted for my staging. I agreed with my surgeon that if he thought my right lobe was cancer he would do a total thyroidectomy during my initail surgery,therefore I had only one surgery. Your age gives you a huge advantage if this does turn out to be cancer. Hurthle Cell responds to the radioactive iodine less than 10% of the time, but I was told it would be my best hope. A total thyroidectomy is the best form of treatment followed by the RAI. I was given 106 mci's of RAI in Sept. 09, followed by a whole body scan two weeks later. I had uptake in the throat and neck area at that time. With a Hurthle Cell Carcinoma diagnosis, Thyroglobulin levels are the best indicator of a recurrence or metastasis, I am told. I have always had detectible levels, therefore, I know I have residual cancer or a recurrence, though a week of tests along with a PET/CT scan do not show the cancer.

Your post tells me you are a loving and devoted mom and you have a strong faith, these will carry you through this difficult time. You will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow and in the days ahead. Try to remain positive.

Please let us know how you are doing when you feel like writing.

Wishing you well,

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for your encouraging words. Well I had my thyroid lobectomy on Wednesday morning and was discharged from the hospital Thursday night. The frozen section results came back "benign"! My calcium levels were low but the doc let me go anyway as it wasn't getting any lower. I've been taking 2 tums 3x a day. They messed up all my pain meds, as Darvacet was pulled off the market they called me another script in not taking into account I'm pregnant...so had to have that script canceled and another submitted.

I sure don't wish this surgery on anyone. I've never felt so "out of whack" with my emotions and never felt so out of control of my body. I've done a little research on the frozen section biopsy and from what I read, it's not really reliable on Hurthle cell tumors...has anyone else heard this? Or know anything else about it? I get my final results tomorrow.
Still in prayer!

hurthle cell an...
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

Dear Wendy,


I was looking for articles or blogs about hurthle cells and pregnancy, then I found your posts.

I am Jenny, by the way, I am 22 weeks pregnant now and 2 months ago they found a 4.5cm lump on my throat. It turns out to be a hurthle cells neoplasm on top of a pre-existing goiter. My doctor told me I could wait until after my delivery then they can remove the lump.

How are you now Wendy? I tried to find follow-ups of your conditions, how did it go? Thank you for sharing the experience with everyvbody. I hope everything went well after that. I have no idea about my situation right now except for the assurance of my doctor that it could still wait.. 



Subscribe to Comments for "Hurthle Cell and Pregnant"