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Old 12-17-2005, 03:54 PM   #1
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maria konoff HB User
tsh level after thyroid cancer removal & concerns

I had thyroid cancer removed in 1994. was on synthroid up until 8/05. my doctor kept me on high dosage so as to suppress tsh / didn't want to activate thyroid to working/reactivate cancer possibility. doctors didn't seem to do much for me and still always tired so switched to armour thyroid and a new doctor. i have been told that you have to start out slow on armour. i am up to 270mg and keep in mind do not have a thyroid. i am still whipped out exhausted. i recently was moved from 240mg to 270 (10days ago) was feeling good on 240 but not a 100%. i recently took saliva testing and my tsh came back a 59. My new doc said oh...that means we need to raise your levels. to me that means oh should i be worried the cancer came back. my t4 was .19 and thyronine was .33. i am still exhausted. my main question is since i am not at my ideal mg on armour would that be why my tsh is high AND should i get a chest scan/be concerned that the cancer is back

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Old 12-17-2005, 05:13 PM   #2
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Re: tsh level after thyroid cancer removal & concerns

I was diagnosed this past year with thyroid cancer, so I'm sure you know a lot more than I.

Did you have blood work, or a saliva test to determine your TSH as 59? I think if yours came back that high, a--you should have a blood retest, and b---if it's still so high, you probably need a higher dosage of armour. (I never heard of a TSH saliva test, maybe others here have)--but you may have to wait for your new dosage to kick in a bit.

I don't think a high TSH has anything to do with thyroid cancer recurrence---they usually test something else when your off meds, I think it's thyroglobulin??? to determine a recurrence. If you haven't had a scan in a while, you might consider asking for one just for follow up purposes, if your doctor agrees.

Hope you feel better soon!

Old 12-18-2005, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: tsh level after thyroid cancer removal & concerns

If your TSH is rising, it just means that you're not getting the right dose of replacement drug (Synthroid, Armour, etc.). You may need a higher dose.

As Reece said, when you have a total thyroidectomy due to cancer, the thyroglobulin is what they measure with a blood test. If the numbers start going up after being down low after the original surgery, it means that there are some active thyroid cells which could be cancerous. If you have this rise in your thyroglobulin, usually you need to have a tracer dose of iodine and a whole body scan to check for any problems. In someone who has a lobectomy, the thyroglobulin measure is not used since the rest of the thyroid is still working and this wouldn't be accurate.

Old 12-19-2005, 05:28 AM   #4
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maria konoff HB User
Re: tsh level after thyroid cancer removal & concerns

gardner & reece, thank you! i had my words mixed up and am relieved, i was thinking tsh was thyroglobulin.......doc did say tsh being high means that my meds aren't high enough, i asked him if high tsh means reoccurance but he skirted the issue and then i think i started getting paranoid. he said i have to go slow w/increasing armour. i thought that if there were tsh levels that means my thyroid is trying to work which means that could reactivate cancer cells correct???? no the saliva test did not measure thyroglobulin, maybe i should ask that one be done.

i have been feeling awful since labor day. saliva testing showed low adrenal so i have been taking b5's b6's b12's, tons of vitamin c and a few other things like suma herb and holy basil herb......but don't feel much better. still have low temperatures and exhausted pretty much most of the time. feel like i have reoccuring mono. anyone w/thyroid and adrenal issues?

Last edited by maria konoff; 12-19-2005 at 05:39 AM.

Old 12-19-2005, 06:08 PM   #5
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Re: tsh level after thyroid cancer removal & concerns

If your TSH by a blood test is also a 59, that may be why you don't feel well. That's a very high TSH level. My TSH was that high three weeks after my TT with no replacement drugs when the doctors wanted to deplete my natural thyroid hormone.

With cancer, as you mentioned, doctors usually do try to keep the TSH suppressed (below 1) so that if there are any straggler thyroid cells left in your body, they aren't stimulated to work and grow and possibly spread more cancer.

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