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Topic: Iodine, thyroid, and breast cancer??

Forum: Complementary and Holistic Medicine and Treatment — Complementary medicine refers to treatments that are used WITH standard treatment. Holistic medicine is a term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person.

Posted on: Feb 14, 2009 05:46PM - edited Jul 27, 2009 07:26AM by Hindsfeet

Hindsfeet wrote:

 I wondered if there is a connection with my recent bc and hypothyroidism? This is sending me on a whole new track.

The thyroid and breast cancer: a significant association?"
Ann Med 1997 Jun;29(3):189-91
These researchers found that there's no clear evidence of a causal relationship - in that one disease causes the other - but there does appear to be an association between breast cancer and hypothyroidism, in particular. There's also some evidence that dietary iodine may affect breast cancer risk, and there's an increased likelihood of having breast cancer if one has an enlarged thyroid, known as a goiter.

Breast cancer in hypothyroid women using thyroid supplements.
JAMA 1984 Feb 3;251(5):616-9
This study found that use of thyroid supplements does not increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Thyroid function after postoperative radiation therapy in patients with breast cancer. "
Acta Radiol Oncol 1986 May-Jun;25(3):167-70

Post-operative radiation therapy for breast cancer can damage the thyroid, so shielding of the thyroid is recommended during irradiation, as well as long-term follow-up of thyroid function with repeated thyroid testing

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 14, 2009 06:30PM - edited Feb 14, 2009 06:36PM by anondenet

The researchers below found an association between the size/swelling/volume of the thyroid and the stage of breast cancer. Swollen thyroid usually indicates hypothyroidism where the thyroid is expanding to create more surface to absorb iodine from the bloodstream. 

Those with no breast disease (the controls) had smaller, healthy thyroids. Those with fibrocystic (benign) disease and cancers had larger thyroids.

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol 81, 937-941, Copyright © 1996 by Endocrine Society


A direct relationship between thyroid enlargement and breast cancer

PP Smyth, DF Smith, EW McDermott, MJ Murray, JG Geraghty and NJ O'Higgins
Department of Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, University College, Dublin, Ireland.

Despite extensive study, evidence to support a direct relationship between diseases of the thyroid and breast has not been established. In this study thyroid volume was assessed by ultrasound in 200 patients with breast cancer and 354 with benign breast disease. Results were compared to appropriate female control groups. Both mean thyroid volume (21.1 +/- 1.4 mL) and the percentage of individual patients with enlarged (> 18.0 mL) thyroid glands (41.5%) were significantly greater in the breast cancer group than equivalent values (13.2 +/- 0.5 mL and 10.5%, respectively) in age-matched controls (P < 0.01 in both cases). The mean thyroid volume of 14.5 +/- 0.34 mL in patients with benign breast disease was also significantly greater than that of 12.5 +/- 0.38 mL in younger controls (P < 0.01). The results support a direct association between breast cancer and increased thyroid volume as mean thyroid volumes and the percentage of individual patients with enlarged thyroid glands were similar in those studied both before (20.8 +/- 1.3 mL and 43.0%) and after (21.4 +/- 1.6 mL and 40.0%) therapies for breast cancer. Although there is no evidence that thyroid enlargement represents a risk factor for breast cancer, the results emphasize the importance of raising the consciousness of the coincidence of both disorders.

Don't want to be defined by my stats-- this would be medical hexing.
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Feb 14, 2009 07:05PM carol1949 wrote:

barry.  they can say what they want!  I have no doubt in my mind that there is correlation in thyroid and fybrocystic breast disease which many believe leads to bc.  I had thyroid for years, and also fybrocystic breasts for years.  The yearly and sometimes bi yearly mammograms missed my tumor and my gynecologist found it in a routine exam.  To me, I thought is was just another cyst.

You can google iodine/breast cancer and or iodine/fybrocystic breast disease and find an abundance of info.  I am now taking Lugol's iodine  and plan to get off synthroid. My oncologist is a personal friend of mine who had known me 6 years prior to my needing her medical services.  The first thing she said to me is "  I think this is related to your thyroid".

Please do your research and trust your heart!

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Feb 14, 2009 07:51PM Hindsfeet wrote:

I'm looking at both sides. There seems to be an association between breast cancer and hypothyroidism. If this is true than I am elated that my core problem has been pin-pointed. Once you learn where your body failed you then you can fix it. Otherwise its a guessing game. For some, perhaps the under active thyroid is the culpret.

 I just read a interesting site, http://www.femail.com.au/breast_cancer_iodine_thyroid_connection.htm

A theory of phases ... from the above site

Progress in cancer research is hampered by the lack of a coherent theory of how cancer starts or what causes it, and also of how or why it progresses: genesis and progression. Some have suggested that it is foolish to try to postulate a theory because of the multitude of factors that appear to be able to start or promote cancers. However, based on my clinical experience, I am proposing a theory of cancer, in particular breast cancer.

My working theory is that cancer's beginnings and spread are biphasic.1 The first phase is the gradual change from a normal cell into an abnormal cell and all the way to carcinoma in situ.2 This phase has changes that are caused by many factors, but the process is long, usually measuring in years and decades. The second phase is the spread of cancer cells in the connective tissue3 compartments. It is related to the strength of the connective tissue barrier, which in turn is controlled by the amount of thyroid hormone present in the tissues.

 As long as a woman's thyroid gland is working well, the cancer in situ stays in the breast and does not cause any problems. If the cancer goes to the second phase, it spreads through the surrounding connective tissue,3 so the strength and function of this connective tissue barrier are important. Connective tissue is controlled by thyroid hormone. If the connective tissue level of thyroid hormone is high, then the defence of connective tissue is strong, and the cancer cannot spread. Thus the spread of cancer can be inhibited by giving exogenous thyroid hormone.

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 15, 2009 06:10PM - edited Feb 15, 2009 06:10PM by carol1949

Thanks, Barry,  Dr. Derry personally responded to some questions I had a while back... and I am following that advice, but also based on the fact that in the late 1960's when I first had thyroid issues.... the Lugol's iodine is what I was treated with! 

Also, may I suggest for you to check out Dr. Patrick Quillin's Beating Cancer With Nutrition.

He is former VP of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America... and his theory is also based on rebuilding a strong immune system!

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Feb 15, 2009 06:24PM swimangel72 wrote:

In my mind there is definitely a link between thyroid function, iodine, estrogen and insulin. I had already started chemo when during my yearly exam, my throid numbers were low so now I'm on synthroid. What came first - the chicken or the egg? I may never know in my case - was my long illness in the hospital and then the chemo responsible for the low thyroid numbers - or was the thyroid already out of wack? I had it checked a year earlier and it was fine. My numbers are not VERY low - but low enough to need medication. I hope the researchers will start connecting the dots soon - for the sake of my daughters - if they can't cure my breast cancer, at least I hope to prevent them from ever getting it!

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53 Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 15, 2009 07:14PM mollyann wrote:

I've always been cold with dry skin but my weight was normal. Since starting Armour Thyroid meds and iodine I am warm for the first time and don't need hand lotion.

The problem was my tests never said my thyroid was very bad. Those thyroid tests can't be very reliable or there wouldn't be such a dramatic difference. The iodine got rid of my breast cysts too. But if I stop taking it for a week they come back. Same with the dry skin. It's hard to imagine so many things are connected but they are.

Look it up. Ask questions. Question authority. Respect other's choices.
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Feb 15, 2009 07:28PM - edited Jul 27, 2009 07:28AM by Hindsfeet

 Post menapausal women should have their thyroids checked.

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 16, 2009 07:16AM louishenry wrote:

Hi Barry. I have been hypothyroid for 18 years, after the birth of my first child. I have been on synthroid ever since. I have had no se's from it all. You will feel much better after it gets into your system. As for  a thyroid/ BC connection? Who knows? There are many more women who have thyroid disorders than have BC. It's probably a coincidence. I did so much research on it. I even read a study ( maybe MD Anderson, can't remember) that said that women who are hypo have a protection against  breast cancer!!  Barry, you will have more energy and probably will notice that your cholesteral numbers will drop. If your thyroid is out of wack, so is everything else. Nada

Dcis May 2007, 4 mm, grade 1-2, no rads recommended. Tamoxifen September 2007 .BRCA 1/2 Negative. Sis with LCIS
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Feb 16, 2009 12:29PM carol1949 wrote:

Strangely enough, you will find much input on the net that says the blood tests are the least effective tests for thyroid function.  Many treat the symptoms.  I have been cold for most of my life!   (One of the first symptoms of hypothyroid)....My thyroid checks normal, whatever that is!!  I am on synthroid, but want to try a desiccated thyroid or alternative approach,  as I am not convinced the synthroid is good. I have also heard from nurses on this site that fybromyalgia never existed until the invention and broad use of synthroid. 

There are just too many women in particular who have thyroid disorder for me to believe for one moment that there isn't a connection.  Also, people from the Northeast are considered at higher risk.  They call it the Goiter Belt.  You have to wonder if it is from all those factories we grew up around.  I know that in upstate NY, there is a pond in our town that no longer freezes!  Not enough $$$ in the town to get any action though.  They do studies and say it is no problem, yet the cancer #'s are very high at the nearby high school!

I have become very cinical through this journey!

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2009 12:47PM Dejaboo wrote:

I have had symptoms of an Over active or under active Thyroid for years (it varies)  Never has a test come back Positive. 2 years ago during a chest CT they found a tiny goiter on my thyroid...


statistics are just a group of numbers looking for an argument Dx 3/7/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 16, 2009 01:32PM hopefor30 wrote:

I have been hypothyroid for almost 15 years -- after the birth of my first child.   I have been on synthroid and have no real side effects from my thyroid -- I did have symptoms prior to diagnosis and synthroid -- was tired and achy.   Is it related to bc?   Who knows?    And what if it is?   They still haven't figured out a way to prevent breast cancer -- whether you're hypothyroid or not -- so I am not going to worry about it.   I get my thyroid levels checked every 6 months and make sure I'm not out of whack and I feel fine.


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Feb 16, 2009 02:19PM FloridaLady wrote:

September 2000 -- According to a retrospective study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, younger women with thyroid cancer have an increased risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The study establishes a relationship between the post-surgical use of radioactive iodine (RAI) I31I treatments for thyroid cancer, and later development of breast cancer.

The authors of the study, "The Development of Breast Cancer in Women with Thyroid Cancer," are all from the The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX. Their findings are being presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Using the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the researchers found that young women (30-34 years) with thyroid cancer exhibited the greatest risk of developing breast cancer. Women who were between the ages of 40 and 44 at initial diagnosis of thyroid cancer were also at significantly elevated risk. The data suggested that the greatest risk appears 15-20 years after the thyroid cancer.

The study concluded that premenopausal adult Caucasian women who are treated for differentiated thyroid cancer are at increased risk to develop breast cancer five to 20 years later. Breast cancer, however, does not increase the risk of subsequent thyroid cancer. This finding suggests that the increased risk of breast cancer after thyroid cancer is related to the thyroid cancer treatment. In particular, the RAI treatment is suspected to be the agent involved in increasing the cancer risk.

The authors' recommendation is for regular follow-up of all women patients with thyroid cancer and "judicious use of radioactive iodine as a treatment regimen."

What This Means for Thyroid Patients

It would seem prudent for women who have received RAI to pay particular attention to preventive factors for breast cancer, including diet, exercise, and healthy body weight. You should incorporate some form of regular screening - i.e., monthly breast self-exams, regular professional breast examinations, and/or mammograms - into your health care.

In my opinion, of critical importance to women who have had RAI treatment for Graves' Disease is the need for a definitive study looking at whether the lower levels of RAI used to ablate the thyroid also pose an increased risk of breast cancer. Given that RAI is the preferred treatment for hyperthyroidism in the U.S., this is an important question. It's already thought by some researchers that having an autoimmune thyroid disorder contributes to increased risk of breast cancer. But given that researchers are suggesting that the RAI is the factor that is the likely cause of the subsequent breast cancer in thyroid cancer patients, this question warrants further research.
trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:23PM FloridaLady wrote:

Underactive Thyroid Lowers Breast Cancer

Hypothyroidism Also Linked to Less Aggressive Disease By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News

April 10, 2003 -- Women with an underactive thyroid appear to be somewhat protected against breast cancer, according to intriguing new studies. The findings eventually could lead to better breast cancer prevention and treatment strategies.


When the researchers compared women with and without breast cancer, they found that women with breast cancer were far less likely to also have had an underactive thyroid -- a condition called hypothyroidism -- in the past. And among the women with breast cancer, those with an underactive thyroid had much less aggressive breast cancer.


"Women with a history of hypothyroidism had many more stage I and II breast cancers and very few stage III diseases," lead researcher Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, tells WebMD. "Overall, their disease was less aggressive." He is with The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.


Thyroid hormone regulates the body's use of energy. An underactive thyroid is the most common thyroid problem and affects as many as one in five older women. But many of those women are unaware they have an underactive thyroid. That's why some experts recommend that everyone, especially women -- since thyroid problems are much more common in women -- get tested for a thyroid problem at age 35.


Researchers have long believed that a thyroid problem influences breast cancer, but findings from earlier studies have been inconclusive. In the latest research, M.D. Anderson investigators compared more than 1,100 women with newly diagnosed breast cancers with some 1,100 women without breast cancer. They also looked at who did -- and didn't -- have an underactive thyroid. Their findings are published in the Proceedings for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.


Regardless of ethnic group, women without breast cancer were roughly twice as likely to have an underactive thyroid. Women with breast cancer were 57% less likely to have a previous diagnosis of underactive thyroid than women without cancer.


The researchers then looked more closely at a group of 80 women with breast cancer who also had an underactive thyroid. These women were much more likely than other cancer patients to have signs of less aggressive breast cancer. Women with breast cancer and an underactive thyroid were more likely to have early stage breast cancer, tended to be older, and were more likely to have estrogen-receptor positive breast cancers -- all signs of less aggressive, and more easily treated, breast cancer.


Both thyroid hormones and estrogen affect the growth of a cell, including cancer cells, he says. So a problem with one or the other of these two hormones may potentially affect the ability of the other hormone to function properly, he explains.


Cristofanilli says it is not clear whether women with overactive thyroids are at increased risk for breast cancer. He adds there are several theories as to why thyroid problems and breast cancer would be linked

trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:24PM FloridaLady wrote:

Last Updated: 2008-03-12 12:30:23 -0400 (Reuters Health)
By Will Boggs, MD

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After treatment for thyroid cancer, patients may face a slightly increased risk of developing a second primary malignancy elsewhere in the body, research suggests.

Dr. Jonathan D. Tward from University of Utah in Salt Lake City and colleagues investigated the risk of non-thyroid second primary malignancies after differentiated thyroid cancer in more than 30,000 patients diagnosed between 1973 and 2002.

During follow-up ranging from 2 to 359 months, 2158 patients developed second primary malignancies, "significantly more than that expected in the general population," the investigators report. However, the absolute excess risk was "relatively small at only about 6.5 additional cancers diagnosed per 10,000 persons per year," Tward told Reuters Health.

There was a significantly increased risk for cancers of the central nervous system, breast, prostate, kidney, Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, and salivary gland, the investigators report, and a significantly decreased risk for cancers of the head and neck, lung, esophagus, and bladder.

The overall risk of second primary cancers was significantly elevated in the first 10 years after thyroid cancer diagnosis, but not for longer latency periods, the researchers note.

Patients who received radioisotope therapy -- which is commonly used to diagnose and treat certain cancers and thyroid disorders -- were at increased risk of developing non-thyroid second primary cancers, the investigators say, compared with the general population and with non-irradiated survivors of thyroid cancer.

However, Tward stressed to Reuters Health, that "radioisotope use is a safe and effective therapy whose merits far outweigh the small probability of developing a secondary cancer."

Results also showed that women in the 25-49 year age group at diagnosis of thyroid cancer had a significantly elevated risk of developing breast cancer, "although the absolute excess risk over these people's lifetimes was only an additional 4 cases of breast cancer per 10,000 persons per year," Tward explained.

"Therefore, we would advocate that any woman younger than age 40 at diagnosis perform routine breast self-examination monthly, get an annual breast physical examination by a health care provider, and begin routine, annual screening mammograms within 3 years of their thyroid cancer diagnosis," he advised.

"Screening in this manner should persist until age 40 where national consensus guidelines such as those of the American Cancer Society or the National Comprehensive Cancer Network would then take over."

"We would also recommend that all patients under age 40 at diagnosis get annual blood work to screen for hematologic (blood) abnormalities indefinitely," Tward added.

"The additional risk of prostate cancer, the other malignancy routinely screened for in the United States population, was restricted to men over the age of 50 at the time of their thyroid cancer diagnosis," he noted. "Therefore, those patients would also fall into screening standards already being implemented in the general population."

SOURCE: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, February 2008

trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:26PM - edited Feb 16, 2009 02:27PM by FloridaLady

Open trial right now under way.  Natural medicine has been saying this for about 30 years...

Thyroid Dysfunction in Women With Newly Diagnosed Stage I, Stage II, or Stage III Breast Cancer Who Are Planning to Undergo Chemotherapy Compared to Thyroid Dysfunction in Healthy Volunteers This study is currently recruiting participants. Verified by National Cancer Institute (NCI), December 2008

Sponsors and Collaborators: H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by: National Cancer Institute (NCI)ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00336102  Purpose

RATIONALE: Learning about thyroid dysfunction in patients with breast cancer may help plan treatment and may help patients live more comfortably.

PURPOSE: This clinical trial is studying how often thyroid dysfunction happens in women with newly diagnosed stage I, stage II, or stage III breast cancer who are planning to undergo chemotherapy compared to how often it happens in healthy volunteers.

Condition Intervention Breast Cancer
Cancer-Related Problem/Condition
Other: physiologic testing
Procedure: fatigue assessment and management
Procedure: management of therapy complications

Genetics Home Reference related topics: breast cancer MedlinePlus related topics: Breast Cancer Cancer Drug Information available for: Thyroid U.S. FDA Resources Study Type:ObservationalOfficial Title:Thyroid Function & Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study to Estimate the Prevalence of Thyroid Dysfunction in Women Diagnosed With Breast Cancer and the Magnitude of Change in Thyroid Function Post-Chemotherapy
Further study details as provided by National Cancer Institute (NCI):
Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Compare proportion of hypothyroidism in women with newly diagnosed stage I-IIIB breast cancer prior to chemotherapy vs in age-matched healthy volunteers
  • Compare change in thyroid function from baseline to 24 months after enrollment

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Correlate variation in thyroid function with fatigue symptom scores and anthropometric measurements at baseline and 24 months after enrollment

Estimated Enrollment:440Study Start Date:April 2006Estimated Primary Completion Date:April 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)Detailed Description:



  • Compare the proportion of hypothyroidism in women with newly diagnosed stage I-IIIB breast cancer (prior to chemotherapy) vs in cancer-free, age-matched healthy volunteers.
  • Compare the magnitude of change in thyroid function in these patients from baseline to 24 months vs in cancer-free, age-matched healthy volunteers.


  • Correlate variation in thyroid function with fatigue symptom scores.
  • Correlate variation in thyroid function with anthropometric measurements.

OUTLINE: This is a pilot, multicenter study.

Patients and age-matched healthy volunteers undergo blood collection at baseline and at 12 and 24 months after enrollment. They also undergo anthropometric measurements and complete the Fatigue Symptom Inventory at baseline and at 12 and 24 months after enrollment.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 440 patients and health volunteers will be accrued for this study.

trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:30PM FloridaLady wrote:

The links between thyroid problems and cancer have been known about for some time. As a gland linked to the immune system, the thyroid is often affected when other parts of the body are under attack. The most recent research explores the specific links between thyroid problems and breast cancer in a systematic way, bringing out ways in which the two diseases could be connected. Findings show that breast cancer sufferers have a higher than average degree of thyroid problems, and doctors should be made aware of these symptoms of thyroid problems(http://www.mitamins.com/disease/Thyroid-Gland-Support.html). Moreover, it could be possible to extrapolate from the findings a causal link between thyroid problems and cancer. However, this has yet to be determined.

Or is iodine the link?

The coincidence of thyroid disease and breast cancer has long been a subject of debate. Although associations with symptoms of thyroid problems(http://www.mitamins.com/disease/Thyroid-Gland-Support.html) including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and goitres with the cancer have been reported in the literature, no convincing evidence exists of a causal role for thyroid disease in breast cancer. Variations in the incidence of breast cancer have been attributed to differences in dietary iodine intake so it could be that iodine rather than the thyroid itself is the missing link between the two diseases. Posssible interactions between thyroid gland and breast tissue are based on the common properties of both the mammary and thyroid cell to concentrate and transport iodine as well as on the presence of TSH receptors in fatty tissue, which is abundant in the breast.

High numbers of goitres in breast cancer patients

The present study found a high prevalance of goiter (which is the symptoms of thyroid problems) as well as a high prevalence of autoimmune thyroiditis, in breast cancer patients. An association of autoimmune thyroid disease with breast cancer has been borne out in the literature surrounding the two diseases. In those studies, increased serum levels of thyroid antibodies were identified. Although a recent study has found the levels of thyroid antibodies in British women to be lower than those in Japanese women, they found no differences between incidences in breast cancer among women of either race. However, with the use of specific immuno-tests for particular antibodies, an increased level of some of these antibodies has been demonstrated in breast cancer.

Thyroid hormones and breast cancer recovery

Knowing about these links can inform symptoms of thyroid problem(http://www.mitamins.com/disease/Thyroid-Gland-Support.html) and breast cancer treatment positively. Recently, it has been proposed that the presence of thyroid abnormalities may influence breast cancer progression. That is, there may be a better prognosis for breast cancer among patients with increased levels of thyroid hormones. It has been proposed that the immune response might be directed both by tumour and by thyroid tissue or that the tumour and thyroid tissue share common properties, as they both express TPO and the sodium iodide symporter gene. Although high TPO level has been shown to be a very important factor in antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in the thyroid, and there may be a possible association between autoimmune thyroiditis and the immune system, there is no agreement on the significance of its association with breast cancer.


The hormonal system is as yet not fully understood. All possible links between symptoms of thyroid problems and cancers like breast cancer need to be investigated time and time again so that eventually we will have a clear picture of what we can and cannot control in the treatment of hormonal and glandular diseases such as thyroid problems and breast cancer.
trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:39PM FloridaLady wrote:

From American Society of Clinical Oncology


Background: Anecdotal studies and isolated case reports have observed an association between thyroid disease and breast cancer. This purported association remains controversial. We describe a retrospective case-control study on the prevalence of breast cancer in patients with abnormal thyroid function studies. Age-matched subjects served as controls. Methods: We reviewed 6,211 cases of abnormal TSH values between January 2004 and December 2005 and determined the number of cases with breast cancer. We compared those data to 3,151 control subjects with normal TSH seen during the same period. We excluded patients with thyroid cancer from the total number of malignancies in both groups because abnormal TSH would be expected to result from its treatment. We also reviewed the ER, PR, HER2/neu status and free thyroxine of patients with breast cancers. Results: Breast cancer rate of 36% of all cancers (37/102) in the abnormal TSH group was significantly higher than that of 18% (14/77) in the normal TSH group (p= 0.012). Breast cancers in the study group with abnormal thyroid function were more frequently hormone receptor positive (74% vs. 67%) and HER2/neu negative (67% vs. 50%). Conclusions: The data suggest that there is an increased rate of breast cancer in patients with abnormal thyroid function. The trend of hormone receptor positive disease in the abnormal TSH group suggests that the IGF receptor may play an important role in the relationship between thyroid disease and breast cancer. The IGF receptor may be a potential target for therapeutic drug development for breast cancer prevention and management. Further studies are warranted.

trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 02:40PM FloridaLady wrote:

How many of you had your thyroid check while in treatment that did not have a previous problem? Not me.


trip neg stageIV spread to IBC (2X) & 7 recur's, Treat Alt & Conv
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Feb 16, 2009 03:26PM carol1949 wrote:

Thanks, FloridaLady... You are certainly doing your research.

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, ER+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2009 04:41PM - edited Jul 27, 2009 07:29AM by Hindsfeet

what is synthroid, and desiccated thyroid?

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 16, 2009 05:23PM vivre wrote:

FlaLady, Thanks for all your research on the thyroid issue. I have a lot of questions when I meet with my doctor this week.

Barry, the thing I like about integrative doctors, is that they do not just treat symptoms, they try to find out what is causing them before they just dole out a pill. I think that is why I refused to go the traditional route. My doctors kept saying they did not know what caused bc, but yet they felt that if I took a drug(arimidex), I would not get it again. I just could not see the reasoning in using a drug, if they did not know if it would work. I am so happy I have found other doctors who are looking outside the box, at diet and nutrition and supplements. With early stage cancer like I had, meds do not have more of an effect statistically than lifestyle changees.

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Feb 16, 2009 08:31PM - edited Feb 16, 2009 08:32PM by slortiz

This Post was deleted by slortiz.
Sandra and 66! Dx 3/6/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2009 08:31PM slortiz wrote:


I am six months post chemo (T-C) and feeling quite good. I go to the gym 3 times a week and am not overweight. I do not suffer from fatigue or other symptoms  of hypothyroidism, yet recent labs indicated elevated TSH of 5.2. This was quite an unexpected finding and a shock!

Going back through prior labs, I found only one for TSH, dated 5/24/06 and normal (3.48). I was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of last year and was treated with surgery and chemo only.

My gut feeling is that if there is a causal relationship between the hypothyroidism and the breast cancer, it is that the chemo damaged my thyroid gland (not that hypothyroidism caused the breast cancer). I'm glad FlaLady started this thread, and would be interested in hearing from others with a similar clinical picture to my own. I do not think that I have ever had abnormal thyroid function up to now. For now I am resisting starting treatment as I am hoping that the thyroid status is a temporary side effect of chemo and will resolve on its own. (Let's hope!)


Sandra and 66! Dx 3/6/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2009 10:04PM althea wrote:

barry, synthroid is the thyroid hormone reproduced synthetically.  Armour is the dessicated thyroid gland of porcine or bovine origin.  Could you find out more about the herbal option your naturopath mentioned?  I've been taking 50 mg of Iodoral per day for 6 weeks now, hoping that would be enough to get my thyroid back into balance.  No such luck.  Maybe the next thing I try will be what I need to kick this hypothyroidism to the curb.  I found a product that contains dessicated thyroid, as well as adrenal and pituitary gland.  It should arrive tomorrow, and dang, if this doesn't kick my hypothyroidism to the curb, y'all will probably witness an unsightly tantrum.  So tired of being tired. 

slortiz, and anyone else getting thyroid tests, please be aware that a 'new' normal test result range was defined by the association of endocriniologists in 2002.  The old normal was .035 to 5.5 for the TSH test.  It was changed to .3 to 3.0.  Most women feel their best when their TSH is around 1.0.  The AACE (the endo group) also recommends that basic screening include a free T4 test, which gives information on the efficiency, or lack thereof, of how our body utilizes T4. I tried to bring my internist up to date, but the information I offered was disregarded, as was my request to have a free T4 test.  Don't be surprised if you are trying to get help from someone who has little training in thyroid matters or little interest in being up to date on basic screening.  

A temperature below normal is also an indicator of underactive thyroid.  Prepare the night before by placing your thermometer next to your bed.  Before raising your head from the pillow, take your temperature, preferably with a mercury thermometer placed under your arm for 10 minutes.  Do this 5 days in a row and take an average of the readings.  I just did mine again last week, and my temp hasn't budged one bit.  97.6, a full degree too low.

There's a wealth of information about the thyroid on the internet.  Especially in regard to iodine, an abundance of conflicting information regarding supplements awaits anyone who researches this subject.  My head was swimming around this time one year ago.  My internist, headed for the retirement ramp, made it painfully obvious that I was not going to get any help from his office.  My friend's chiropractor recommended iodine supplements, which I was eager to try at first.  Then I learned that the FDA recomends only 125 mcg per day, and iodine starts being toxic at 1100 mcg.  Meanwhile I had just purchased supplements that were 3 mg each.  Not only was each tablet roughly 3 times the toxicity level defined by the FDA, but I was told to take 6 of them every day!  My friend gets loads of help from her chiro, but I just don't have the warm fuzzy feeling of confidence she gets from him.  

I finally decided that the FDA guideline for iodine intake and toxicity level is yet another shining example of why the FDA is not the pillar of information that people expect it to be.  There's a lot of people taking way more than 1100 micrograms of iodine every day without any toxicity, including the Japanese who consume on average 13 milligrams per day and have been for centuries.  

Listen with a questioning ear. quote from George Ohsawa, founder of macrobiotics Dx 12/22/2004, ILC, 5cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 16, 2009 10:12PM - edited Feb 16, 2009 10:13PM by Hindsfeet

This is all so interesting. I never thought much about the thyroid until now. It is more common among post menapause women..as is bc. For those like myself who know little about all this ... here is a little basic info that's helping me.

What Does Thyroid Hormone Do?

Cells respond to thyroid hormone with an increase in metabolic activity. Metabolic activity, or metabolism, is a term used to describe the processes in the body that produce energy and the chemical substances necessary for cells to grow, divide to form new cells, and perform other vital functions.

If you think of each cell in the body as a car, then thyroid hormone   A chemical substance produced by the thyroid gland and released into the bloodstream. It interacts with almost all body cells, causing them to increase their metabolic activity. Two forms of thyroid hormone, abbreviated as T3 and T4, are found in bloodstream. acts as if you were tapping on the accelerator pedal. Its message is "go."

Because thyroid hormone stimulates cells, it causes major body functions to "go" a bit faster.

  • Heart rate increases.
  • Breathing rate increases.
  • Use of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates increases.
  • Skeletal muscles work more efficiently.
  • Muscle tone in the digestive system, such as those in the walls of the intestines that help to move food through the digestive system increases.
  • Mental alertness and thinking skills are sharpened
Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 16, 2009 10:28PM - edited Jul 27, 2009 07:31AM by Hindsfeet

Althea, I' will ask my naturalpathic doc about the herbs...

Hypothyroidism can be serious....it can affect other organs in he body, especially the heart, and the brain. I copied this...

Need To Know:

Untreated hypothyroidism can have serious consequences over the long term:

  • It may result in severe depression and, over a period of time, mental and behavioral impairment.
  • The most severe form of hypothyroidism is myxedema, which is characterized by swelling of the face, tissue around the eyes, hands, and feet. Left untreated, this may progress to even more severe symptoms of hypothermia, which is a severe drop in body temperature, seizures and ultimately coma and death.

This need never occur with proper treatment.

The good news is that treatment is simple, and the symptoms almost always resolve with treatment. Persons generally feel much better, more alert, and "back to being their old selves."

Dx 6/13/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 17, 2009 03:20AM Dejaboo wrote:

Althea.  Does it have to be a before rising temp?

I have had a below normal temp for about 10 years...Usually about 97.6 (during the day)

or doesnt that count/matter?



statistics are just a group of numbers looking for an argument Dx 3/7/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 17, 2009 06:12AM LJ13 wrote:

This is excellent. Who needs doctors?

Can someone tell me why my joints are hurting?

Worry is a misuse of the imagination.
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Feb 17, 2009 06:28AM lisasayers wrote:

Small things amuse small minds

One year cancer FREE 10/24/09! Bilateral with TE 10/24/08, 4 Cycles TC ended 2/6/09, Exchange Surgery 410 Gummie 3/20/09 Dx 9/25/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 17, 2009 06:39AM ann-idiot wrote:

Hi Everyone, I have ILC, today is my last rads and LJ13 my joints hurt as well. It's my hip joints, started hurting about 3 1/2 weeks into rads. I have a goiter, my pituitary has shut down (my TSH level is 0.00000) and am getting the radioactive iodine test tomorrow...as if I'm not radioactive enough already. LOL. I've had a slew of thyroid related symptoms over the years and I definitely believe my BC is related to my bum thyroid. As far as iodine, when I was in my pre-teen years my dad had a seies of heart attacks and after recovery the household diet drastically changed. One thing in particular was the complete removal of table salt (which is iodized and a main source of iodine in the American diet) and products containing iodized salt. He gave himself supplements but I guess they figured I was a kid and didn't need them. I grew up from the age of about 9 or 10 to 17 without iodized salt in my diet. Developed a goiter in my 20's and am now 45 with breast cancer.

Dx 7/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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