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Recurrent thyroid cancer

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2012

I had my total thyroidectomy in August 2010 with papilliary cancer. I have had my yearly blood work and ultra sound. This time they told me that they noticed a lumph mode that they had not seen before and the the report said could be malignant or benign and doctor says to wait six months and see if any change as my blood labs are fine. Should I wait the six monts or request something done sooner

Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

If you can I would push to have it looked at more closely. 6 months is a long time to wait. Maybe they could do a fine needle biopsy? I too had a complete TT, but a few months later noticed some swollen nodes. Ended up with having them removed, and 7 were cancer. I had another scare last novemeber when a checkup showed 2 more suspicious nodes. My surgeon chose to remove them right away....and they all came back benign!

Had I waited the first time I would have been in serious trouble, so there was no way I was going to wait the second time. In hindsight...and for the future if necessary, I will ask for the needle biopsy to checkout anything.

Best of luck

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2012

Thank you for your comments. I am concerned that they won't do anything because she said my blood levels are fine. But ny blood levels were fine before total thyroidectomy , I had a benign follicular nodule and a colloid nodule and papilliary cancer

alapah's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Oct 2009

Yes, blood levels really don't reveal much about what is truly going on. I had levels within normal range years before and even days before a very large nodule was removed. Are your labs including thyroglobulin? Tg would be the only thyroid related lab that could provide some indication of lingering cancer (though it really just tells if you have remaining thyroid tissue, not necessarily cancerous lingering thyroid tissue).

Are you seeing an endocrinologist - one who specializes in thyroid and thyroid cancers? It's really important to have a doctor that keeps up on this and is familiar with methods for following up on patients who have had cancer. You have to be diligent in managing your long term care with thyroid cancer. If your situation allows you to get a second opinion or seek another doctor with more experience/expertise, I'd say go for it.

My follow up involves ultrasounds every six months or so along with labs to check Tg and TSH levels. On one occasion I had a lymph node in my neck on watch because it was enlarged, though not in a way characteristic of cancerous nodes. One medical center wanted to do a fine needle biopsy but it was in a bad position so we watched. Fortunately, it went back to normal on it's own and turned out not to be cancerous.
best to you

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