Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
Thyroid Nodule Paranoia
I'm 26, female, and found a large lump on my thyroid about two months ago. I finally got some FNA biopsy results today, and they came back benign. I'm very thankful for this, but I still feel like something is up. I'm not a doctor, and I'm sure most people reading this aren't doctors. I just want to know whether or not there is reason to be concerned.
One large thyroid nodule
Three long-term (at least 1 year) swollen lymph nodes, ~2cm, rubbery
Weight loss of ~60 lbs in 1 year (from 270 to 210)
Aching pain in neck and shoulders with consumption of any amount of alcohol, lasting around 20-30 minutes then subsiding completely, regardless of continued alcohol consumption
Mild, occasional twinges of pain in side, just under bottom ribs (1-4x daily, last 60 seconds or less)
Sharp, stabbing pain in chest (lasts only a second, but severe enough to make me involuntarily cry out and/or drop things)
Because of the weird alcohol pain, I've been concerned about lymphoma. So, for the record - I get sweaty at night, but only occasionally and not enough to drench bedding. No noticeable fevers. No severe itching.
Okay. I've had blood drawn at every doctor's appointment I've been to in the past month. CBC is normal. Thyroid levels are all normal. My blood seems to be about as normal as it can get. (If you want to know any specific values, I'll post them.)
Next test: I had a sonogram of my thyroid nodule. Here's what I found out:
"The right lobe is normal measuring 4.2x1.6x1.3cm's. The left lobe is thickened being 4.3x2.8x2.5cm's with a 3.6cm mid to lower pole solid nodule that is very well defined."
Ooh, well-defined! That's good, right? But solid. Oh, man. That's bad. Time to go see a specialist.
I got sent to an oncologist first. He did thorough blood work (all normal) and poked around my lymphy areas. He didn't seem to be concerned, and shipped me off to an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist did a new ultrasound. He was surprised and pointed out that the thyroid mass has pushed my trachea clear of the midline of my neck. Yeah, it looks weird. It seems that I can still breathe, swallow, and sing around that new neck detour, so immediate action for that isn't necessary. On my new doctor's ultrasound, he measured the lump as 3.8cm. That's .2 more centimeters! In a matter of three weeks! BUT--it was two different doctors, two different ultrasound machines, and .2cm is not really a reasonably measurable amount. So I'm not getting worked up about that, just wanted to throw it in there.
FNA biopsy time! They needled up some cells and sent them off to the lab. Today, I got my results from that. Here's what the little paper says:
"Thyroid, left lobe, ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsy.
(Nodule)...is 3.8cm in diameter, solid and hypoechoic.
These preparations are adequate in cellularity for evaluation. Elements present consist of follicular thyroid epithelial cells which are arranged in sheets, strips and as isolated cells with a background containing abundant thin colloid and histiocytes. Within the epithelial sheets and strips, the cells are evenly spaces without significant overlapping or crowding of nuclei. There is some variability in cell and nuclear size. The cells have a moderate amount of delicate cytoplasm and nuclei are round to oval with slightly granular chromatin and thin, even nuclear membrane contours. Findings are consistent with a benign thyroid nodule."
And now I'm sitting at home. I've texted the good news to my friends and I've had relieved conversations with my family members. Everything's okay, right?
My previous worry, lymphoma, supposedly doesn't show up on FNA biopsy. Neither does follicular thyroid cancer. Two of my big old worries. Should I take my physician's non-worry as peace of mind? Or should I pursue further tests, stress, and worry?
If you've been through anything similar to my situation, I'd appreciate your input. I don't know whether I should sit back and relax or go on a crusade for my probably-just-fine health. Thanks for reading.