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Old 02-11-2007, 06:59 AM   #1
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How can they tell if thyroid cancer has spead to lymph nodes?

Hello,

I have an upcoming TT in two weeks. I had two enlarged lymph nodes in the side of my neck also, during a cold, but the swelling went way down. But I can still feel them, like a small bean. How do they know if these are cancerous? I heard the RAI after does not kill the cancer in lymph nodes so affected lymph nodes would need to be taken out in surgery. But these nodes are not near my thryoid really.....So, how do they know if it has spread? How does the surgeon get all affected lymph nodes in surgery? How does the surgeon know if it has spread?

Last edited by 11marie11; 02-11-2007 at 07:00 AM.

 
Old 02-11-2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: How can they tell if thyroid cancer has spead to lymph nodes?

You need to ask your surgeon these questions. You need to get info. from doctors that have experience with this, because it seems that the internet is giving you misinformation. I think the thyroid cancer organization, if you go to the website, can hook you up with a support person to help you thru. this over the phone. They also might have meetings in your area. I think this would be great for you to have a real person to talk this thru. with who has been thru. this before.

The surgeon will probably remove a couple for pathology to see if any are cancerous. RAI DOES kill cancer in lymph nodes. There may have been some situations in the world where it didn't, maybe you even found a situation on the internet like this, but it normally does.

I hope you feel better, and find ways to cope, because if you do, you will find this a breeze.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-24-2007 at 08:01 AM. Reason: promoting other forums

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: How can they tell if thyroid cancer has spead to lymph nodes?

I agree. But my surgeon has no time to talk to me. I called later to talk to him and he was unavailable and they said there is no way for me to talk to him. Also, when I tried to ask him about the RAI, he said leave that to the endo's, I just take the thyroid out. So, yes, you are right. I have no one to talk to but the boards.....

Last edited by moderator2; 02-24-2007 at 08:01 AM. Reason: please do not quote posting rules violations so that you are not also banned

 
Old 02-12-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Re: How can they tell if thyroid cancer has spead to lymph nodes?

11marie:
RAI KILLS EVERYTHING - cancer that is. Anyway, your surgeon is right, the RAI questions go to the endo. They just take out the thyroid and take a few nodes for samples. Don't get too wrapped up on the node thing. If it has spread the RAI will take care of it. See if you can find a suport group where you live so you can talk to other people.

The answer to your questions - how do they know if it is cancer is simple. Once they remove the thyroid and some nodes, the pathologist will dissect it and determine if it is cancerous. Even if they leave some nodes in that might potentially be cancerous, the RAI will kill it. It is not advisable or prudent to take every node out of your neck or surrounding area. Too many important nerves and veins. The dosing of the RAI will depend on what the pathologist finds. Most everyone with pap cancer received the 150millicuries of RAI so it doesn't come back. But everyone is different.

So, the surgery is in two weeks. How are you holding up. Try to relax and prepare for the recovery.

Take Care!
Kathy

 
Old 02-13-2007, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: How can they tell if thyroid cancer has spead to lymph nodes?

RAI will kill thyroid cancer in lymph nodes and elsewhere but it will have little effect on other cancers. That is because the tissue in a cancerous node is actually thyroid tissue so it attracts iodine just as the thyroid does. If the cancer is from other causes it won't be thyroid tissue so it won't attract and absorb the RAI.

My follicular was first found in a rib, not in my apparently healthy thyroid. After finding it in the rib and the pathologist reported it was thryoid cancer they looked at the thyroid and found it there.

My doctor told me if the thyroid was removed but the rib lesion was left behind it would function (poorly) as a thyroid gland, producing thyroid hormones at an unpredictable rate. I'm going to assume the same effect would apply to papillary cancer that has moved into a lymph node.

 
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