For members not diagnosed with breast cancer, but waiting for test results: Biopsy, mammogram, ultrasound, or other screening tests. Waiting is VERY difficult but remember...
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom
Posted on: Aug 22, 2010 08:09PM
Had a bilat mx in Dec 07 for IDC and all my labs have been coming back fine. I mentioned to my onco that I've been having a choking sensation at random times, espec when I raise my arms up or turn my head. She ran a TSH level which was fine and suggested I ask my PCP about ordering a scope.
Well, PCP ordered a neck ultrasound, which I had last Thurs, and when my PCP called the next day to tell me I needed to schedule a nuclear scan, I knew it wasn't just my imagination. (See, after feeling just find and finding out you have cancer, I at least, don't trust my body anymore and while I don't feel I'm a hyperchondriac, I listen a little closer to what my body is telling me. So, turns out I have a 3.13x2.09x1.94cm complex nodule medial/posterior of the right lobe of my thyroid. So now I have to wait a week for my nuclear scan and uptake test.
I am scheduled to have a pelvic US next month (on Tamoxifen and while my hormone levels are fine, haven't had a cycle since Feb, so onco wanted to check that out) but hoping, since I work in the hospital, I can have that rescheduled for one of my lunch hours this week. IF that has a positive finding, maybe we can just schedule another PET scan and check out everything!!!
So, wondering if anyone else has had thyroid issues after Breast cancer? Hoping I'm just fine, since what I've read so far is that 90% of complex thyroid nodules are benign, but ya know... it's so large, I'm just starting to freak! Good news is, I've been through chemo and rads and know I can do it again if I need to, bad news is I've been through chemo and rads and know THEY SUCK!!!
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Posts 1 - 29 (29 total)
Aug 22, 2010 08:23PM blondie45 wrote:
YUMMY - Do you have any other symptoms? I had a partial thyroidectomy about 15 years ago already and all the blood tests every year always come back that what I have left is functioning fine. I started having trouble swallowing dry foods like bread back in Spring. I had an endoscopy and biopsy for Barrett's esophagus was fine. The doc dilated my throat but it hasn't seemed to help. I am also hoping that mine is not thyroid related. I do have acid reflux and the doc said that is common with acid reflux. Hope all of your tests turn out okay.
Aug 22, 2010 08:40PM - edited Aug 22, 2010 08:43PM by ananda8
The following link is from the Linus Pauling Institute:http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/iodine/
Here are snips but read the whole thing. I would hesitate to have any test requiring radioactive iodine before attempting to correct the problem through diet and supplements. Of course any supplements I take would be under a doctor's supervision. Too much iodine is as bad as too little.
"Thyroid enlargement, or goiter, is one of the earliest and most visible signs of iodine deficiency. The thyroid enlarges in response to persistent stimulation by TSH (see Function). In mild iodine deficiency, this adaptative response may be enough to provide the body with sufficient thyroid hormone. However, more severe cases of iodine deficiency result in hypothyroidism. Adequate iodine intake will generally reduce the size of goiters, but the reversibility of the effects of hypothyroidism depends on an individual's stage of development...
Inadequate iodine intake may also result in goiter and hypothyroidism in adults. Although the effects of hypothyroidism are more subtle in the brains of adults than children, research suggests that hypothyroidism results in slower response times and impaired mental function (1). Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, weight gain, cold intolerance, and constipation...
Selenium deficiency can exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone, but selenium-dependent enzymes (iodothyronine deiodinases) are also required for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to the biologically active thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3) (6, 8). Additionally, deficiencies of vitamin A or iron may exacerbate the effects of iodine deficiency (6, 14).
Aug 22, 2010 10:56PM leaf wrote:
About 15 years before my classic LCIS, I had (what ended up being) a solitary benign T3 (that's the 'wimpy' hormone, in comparasion to T4)-secreting adenoma (i.e. Plummer's disease), with Hashimoto's (autoimmune destruction of the thyroid). My symptoms were simply a large lump on my thyroid about 3cm wide. I first had an ultrasound, which showed it was not a cyst, then a nuclear scan. Solitary nodules are rather uncommon, as are T3 secreting ones. I had a half of my thyroid removed. I'm on thyroid replacement (T4, levothyroxine). I've had few problems over the last 15 years, besides gradually increasing my thyroid dosage. (I rarely have trouble swallowing, due to minor damage to the pharyngeal nerve. Usually I can take all ~15 tablets - this includes BIG calcium and thiamine tablets- at once.) I tend to specialize medically in getting the uncommon. I had it removed because they were afraid it would take too high a dose of radioactive iodine to kill it medically, and eventually it might affect breathing.
A co-worker had Grave's disease at the same time, and it went undiagnosed for about a year. The doc kept on giving her anti-anxiety meds. After she was diagnosed, she had radioactive iodine treatment.
Thyroid cancer is uncommon. There is one nurse at my hospital who had it about 25 years ago, and is doing absolutely fine.
Aug 22, 2010 11:49PM blackjack wrote:
I am glad that you started this thread. I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago for IDC tubular. Only had lumpectomy and rads. Developed multi nodules on thyroid in 5/ 09. I have been hyperthyroid ever since. I can't take the iodine as I have an allergy to IVP Dye. I did test positive for Barrett's in 08 then negative 6 months later. Has anyone ever had low white count because of thyroid problems?
I am sooo frustrated with these mds. Just looking for answers......
Aug 22, 2010 11:54PM blondie45 wrote:
notself, leaf, blackjack - Thanks for your info and stories. I did read years ago when I had my partial thyroidectomy that it is uncommon. Like one of you said that you are, I am also usually the exception to a lot of statistics, but we all probably are one way or another in our diagnosis. Of course, I am like everyone else and I worry about getting any kind of the dreaded disease. I agree that I do need to stop eating some of the foods that I do and my acid reflux will most likely get better, especially the strawberries that I love to eat, darn it all.
Aug 23, 2010 02:27AM YUMMY wrote:
notself.. thanks for the info. will ask dr about that but as of my most recent tests, i do not have hypothyroid, so who knows what is going on.
blondie, i have been more tired than usual and 'just not feeling like myself' , but it's been unusually hot and humid in my area, so attributed a lot of what i was feeling to that. i haven't had any dysphagia or other gi symptoms.. so i guess it's just wait and see for now.
i did speak to my mom who has a friend who had bc and ended up with thyroid nodules and she swears, though the professionals will deny it, that her radiation was the cause... which is what i was wondering. oh well.
Aug 23, 2010 02:40AM - edited Aug 23, 2010 05:35AM by Jellydonut
Has the doctor mentioned having the nodule biopsied?
Something similar happened to me in '07. After a scan, I learned of a 2+cm nodule on my thyroid and I freaked!! Even worse, the dopey radiologist who read the scan wrote "metastatic" cancer on the report.
Had a biopsy (it really didn't hurt) done and it is benign. The nodule is still there and not doing any harm.
Moral of story: Wait for conclusive results.
It's all too easy to get upset when one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, then hears of another nodule/tumor elsewhere in the body. I've had myself dead and buried numerous times in eight years, lol.
My thoughts are with you and surely we all hope you'll hear that wonderful word: BENIGN!!
Aug 23, 2010 04:47AM YUMMY wrote:
Thanks for your words of encouragement. No mention of biospy yet. I think they want to check for hot or cold nodule first and then depending on that, the biopsy will or won't happen. Part of the problem is I code medical charts and read radiology reports for a living! A little knowlege is a dangerous thing.
I guess I just need to spew right now. I already told my hubby I am allowed to freak right now and he'll have to put up with it, but I know he's going through this with me, as he did before.... so I come here where my 'sisters' understand. LOVE TO YOU ALL! I'll be sure to let you know in a week or so how things turn out.
Aug 23, 2010 05:06AM blackjack wrote:
Yummy... have you had your TSH, T3 ,T4 blood levels checked. I have my checked every 6 months as I am hyperthyroid. I too had a thyroid nodule biopsy and it was B9. I would ask to have the blood levels tested. There is always the wait and watch program which I am in right now.
Sending you a healing hug your way.
Aug 23, 2010 07:39AM - edited Sep 9, 2010 06:05PM by Lisa1962YUMMY, Just catching up with your story, and wanted you to know that I'll be hoping & praying that everything with your thyroid turns out to be B9. I suffer from hypothyroidism & have been on Synthroid for about 5 years or so. When I began this journey my TSH level was about 11, and now with the help of a wonderful endocrinologist who checks my levels every few months, I am around a 1 or even below. My endocrinologist has done several thyroid US(s) and I too have some nodules, but they are B9. She told me that they are very characteristic of someone with my hypothyroid condition. So, we keep an eye on them with yearly US---my endocrinologist performs the US herself.
I realize that you believe that your thyroid levels are in the normal range, but it doesn't hurt to have them checked out. Thyroid issues can affect so many functions in our body----even our monthly cycles. I had another pre-menopausal friend who was having excessive bleeding with her periods, & the dr. asked her if her thyroid levels had been checked.....after the bloodwork returned, turned out she did have hypothyroidism. She has been on Synthroid ever since, & is feeling so much more energetic, is sleeping better, & feels so much more like herself.
I'm sending you only B9 thoughts & prayers for this latest thyroid scare. Please keep us posted. Wishing you only good things....Lisa
Aug 23, 2010 04:05PM vivre wrote:
Check out the site, naturalthryroidchoices and stopthethyroidmadness. Both were real eye openers for me. I too was hypo and I realized that my bc was tied to that. Read our thread here on thryoid, iodine and bc too. Many of us are taking iodine, which has changed my life. I have been following the protocol that Dr. David Brownstien and Dr. Derry have come up with and it has helped me to detox all the toxins that I know caused my bc. I have so much energy now. It took me a while to find a local doctor who supports the use of iodine and natural thyroid but I did. I also have a compounding pharmacy where I get my iodine and lots of supportive information.
Blackjack, if you are interested, I can give you the names. The doctor is in Wheaton, and the pharmacy is in Naperville.
Aug 23, 2010 07:54PM jsw19 wrote:
Yummy, I had thyroid cancer 6 years ago, prior to my breast cancer. It is rare but it is also quite easily treatable. I had surgery to remove my entire thyroid (small cancerous nodules throughout) and then one small dose of radioactive iodine to kill any remaining cells. I had no side effects from the radioactive iodine, they just recommend quarantining yourself for 2-3 days following the dose since your body will secrete out the excess radioactive iodine, which could then be absorbed by others and kill off their healthy thyroid. I certainly hope that your nodule is benign but if it is not please be aware that thyroid cancer treatment is MUCH less difficult than the chemo and radiation for breast cancer.
Aug 23, 2010 08:43PM CameoBarbie wrote:
I'm back. I took the past six or so months away, from any thought of this and did me alot of good. Researching behind the scenes though. I just wanted to say that as before the thyroid issues I had for 7 years changed my whole body around.
LEAF - I found out that what is active is the original Autom-immune Disorder that CAUSED the thyroid problems, is at work. I just thought I'd mention that thyroid issues can be a secondary cause - this I was told to by the Hemotologist. I didn't realize you also had thyroid issues way back. I tested positive for something that is an auto-immune disorder first.
I am glad everyone seems to be allowed to discuss other matters that worry us - any systemic problem that can be either ruled out or addressed as something to worry about. Somebody really made me feel we were zoning out over nothing.
I'm still not getting any information and brushed off regarding any questions I have over the lumpies I have, but am to be staying on 6 month ultrasounds and 1 year mammos. Go figure.
Aug 23, 2010 11:16PM leaf wrote:
Hi CameoBarbie - I'm having trouble understanding - could you help me understand? I'm not sure if you're saying that work caused your thyroid condition?
Hashimoto's is an auto-immune disease. About a decade ago, I found a paper that looked at serial autopsies, and found about 25% of the autopsies had *microscopic* evidence of Hashimoto's disease (not clinical Hashimoto's disease.)
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States after age 6 years, with the incidence estimated to be 1.3% in a series of 5000 children aged 11-18 years. In adults, incidence is estimated to be 3.5 per 1000 per year in women and 0.8 per 1000 per year in men. Incidence may be as high as 6% in the Appalachian region. In the Colorado Thyroid Disease Prevalence Study, involving 25,862 adults, the prevalence of elevated TSH in symptomatic and asymptomatic adults was 9.5%, with a greater percentage of those involved being women. The prevalence of hypothyroidism and of thyroid disease in general increases with age. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/120937-overview
I also have other autoimmune diseases.
Aug 26, 2010 07:13AM Dee2010 wrote:
YUMMY - regardless of the results of the nuclear uptake test and any blood test may be, I would insist on a biopsy of the nodule. It's a simple test (needle only, no stitching or anything) and is the only thing aside from removal and entire biopsy that will confirm your diagnosis.
I fought with my family doctors (plural, because I changed twice) for 3.5 years before one would send me to a specialist. They kept sending me for tests (even the first specialist I saw). The doctor doing the biopsy finally told me that I couldn't get any concrete results from the biopsy because I had too many cysts and nodules in the thyroid; the doctor doing the uptake test asked if I was afraid to be operated. When I explained, he added to the test results that I should have it removed and STILL the doctor said 'goiter can't be cancerous'. We argued; he looked at the results again and saw the other doctor's note; he said "I guess I could send you to a specialist" and I said "Yeah, do that". Then to the first specialist for more of the same tests. He was too afraid to operate because mine was a complicated surgery. When I finally saw the SECOND specialist, he asked why my file had been dragging on so long and removed my thyroid within two weeks (Nov 2006). Two cancerous nodules, over 2 cm each. The largest nodules on each side were over 4 cm, but they thankfully were benign. By the way, my bloodwork was always in 'the norm'.
That being said, I had many cysts and nodules; you seem to have only one and so they should have a clear target for the biopsy. Also, if it's any comfort, most thyroid cancers are very slow growing (i.e. over decades). Good luck - here's hoping everything is benign! Keep us posted!
PS The thyroid cancer came first (Nov 2006); IBC was diagnosed Dec 2009. Both primary cancers. Both supposedly 'rare'.
Aug 30, 2010 07:52PM YUMMY wrote:
Well, ladies. Got the call this morning and it's a cold nodule, which doesn't mean much right now. I have an appt with an ENT who specializes in diseases of the thyroid this Friday. I don't know why my PCP didn't refer me to an endocrinologist, but we'll start here and see where things go. If my opinion counts for anything... long as my right thyroid isn't functioning, I'd like it gone. Will have to see if the doc is open to that.
Thanks for your thoughts and kind words. Will keep ya posted.
PS.. the thing I have been worried most about has been if it is cancer, I don't want to lose my hair again!!! Is that crazy or what?
Aug 30, 2010 10:09PM Shrek4 wrote:
Yummy, I have been hyperthyroid since 2003 (Graves disease). I had goiter (yes, goiter can appear in the case of HYPER-thyroid also, not just for hypo-thyroid), that got resolved with anti-thyroid medication (Tapazole). I also have a cold nodule since then. It never grew, got modified in size or anything. It doesn't bother me and has nothing to do with my Graves disease.
Thyroid cancer is one of the easiest to solve - the surgery takes care of it, and if I'm not mistaken cases of it metastatizing are close to nil.
chemo can throw your thyroid off the board. So can Tamox/AI's.
Aug 30, 2010 11:41PM sflow wrote:
Hi, I had a thyroid nodule years before my breast cancer diagnosis. I work with an endocrinologist who says it is over 3cm and is cystic. I have had it biopsied twice and have an ultrasound on it every year to check for changes--have seen none yet--knock on wood. My endo also tests my blood periodically, but no thyroid problems. Supposedly the nodules are very very common.
Sep 8, 2010 09:24PM YUMMY wrote:
Well saw the ENT last Friday and we're going to remove the rt thyroid, do frozen sections during surgery and if it's b9, we're done. If not, the left lobe will go also, I'll start on high doses of calcium, and a couple weeks later have a week of brachytherapy and then it's just regulating the Synthroid or whatever med she puts me on, She said, because it's so large, they'd have to do many needle biopsies and still not know if they hit the right spot looking for malignant cells, so this just makes more sense. So September 23rd I'll say good bye to the lump in my throat. :)
Sep 8, 2010 11:52PM GoldenEyes wrote:
Good Lucky Yummy !
How does cancer show up on thyroid? I had Soft Tissue MRI done this morning.. I see my oncologist tomorrow for blood work..I do have a lump on the right side of my neck, near the jaw and 3 Dr's felts it.. Does it show up as a Bright spots or Dark Spots on the MRI? He also ordered a Scan of my C Spine, Neck, Orbits and face Why would he ordered all of that? Good LUck Yummy. .I hope everything turns out well for you
Sep 9, 2010 04:33AM YUMMY wrote:
I didn't have an MRI of my thyroid so I don't know. All they could tell from the nuclear scan is that there was't a lot of uptake in the area of the nodule, so it was considered a cold nodule. They won't know if its malignant until they remove it and do the biopsy while I'm under anesthesia.
I do know that when I had my PET scan after my breast biopsy 3 years ago, my thyroid was fine and besides the breast the only other area of 'uptake' was my axillary lymph nodes. From my experience coding radiology reports, in nuclear scans, areas of cancer usually have a lot of 'uptake' or in otherwords, because cancer areas are very vascular with a lotof cell growth, there is a higher concentration of the tracer there. BUT areas of recent injury, say bone fractures or surgical sites will also have more uptake because healing areas also have a lot of cell growth. I don't actually see the images, just read the radiologists reports so even trying to read my own films when I know what's wrong is difficult. So, just best to wait to see what your onco has to say, and ask them what they're looking for with all those tests. I hope they find nothing! Good Luck to you!
Sep 9, 2010 06:05PM Lisa1962 wrote:
YUMMY, Just wanted you to know that I'm checking back in on you. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts & prayers on Sept. 23rd with your thyroid surgery. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. I'll be checking back with you. Sending only good thoughts for B9 results...Lisa
Sep 12, 2010 08:45PM BocaCiegaBabe wrote:
I'm thinking of you too, Yummy. Hope it all turned out OK!!
I just wanted to let you know, (although hopefully this will not be you), my daughter had thyroid cancer about 5 years ago. I was the one who noticed the swelling and urged her to see her doctor! Aside from removing the gland, they allowed her to become super hypothyroid, by giving no meds until any lingering thyroid cancer cells anyplace else in her body would be starving for iodine. Once that stage is reached, they give you a dose of radioactive iodine, which lingering cells drink up thirstily...then die. That is it. No chemo. Aside from the extreme tiredness as her levels grew worse and worse before meds, it was not terrible. The radioactive iodine is expelled from your system gradually, and during that period (3 days) you are in isolation. Then it's gone. Over and done with. IF this is what you have, it is one of the "best cancers to get"!
Wishing you well, and hopefully you are one of the 95% that are benign!
Sep 13, 2010 05:46AM Dee2010 wrote:
Donna - I hope things get clarified for you soon. I didn't have an MRI done, so I can't comment on that either.
Yummy - I meant to follow-up on this thread, but time got away from me. Boca explained things pretty well. It is usually one of the easiest cancers to treat and especially track. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body to pick up iodine, so they track it that way with regular scans after the thyroidectomy. You don't lose your hair, get nauseous, or anything like that. I get scans every 6 months (except they were stopped when they found the IBC, as were my blood tests because chemo knocks everything out of whack).
To both of you, I can't say it enough, thyroid cancer is rare - only about 10% of nodules are cancerous. If you're a control freak like me and feel better prepared with research, a good resource is www.thyca.org (the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association in the U.S.) They have a medical advisory board and their info is very reliable.
Sep 25, 2010 06:58PM YUMMY wrote:
Just an update... intraoperative frozen sections came back B9 so I still have half my thyroid and am happy girl. Still need to wait for the final pathology at my appointment next week, but I'm confident that all is well. Surgery was 2 eays ago and while the incision site is sore I'm feeling well and an heading off to a family reunion in an hour (still on pain meds so HD is driving but well enough to have a nice visit).
Thanks all for the info and positive thoughts!
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