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Old 02-06-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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New here, worried and scared

Hi, I usually post on the pain management and back boards but have found that I also need to be here , at least until I find out what's going on with my thyroid. 10 years ago, my thyroid was enlarged and I was sent for a nuclear scan and an ultrasound of my thyroid. That ultrasound showed 4 cysts, which were negative I guess from the results of that scan for anything serious. My GP never told me that I needed to follow up or anything, in all of these years since. Anyway, I finally changed doctors and when going over my medical history, he decided to send me for a new ultrasound to see how the cysts were and also to help find out why I suddenly lost 45 pounds without dieting.....needless to say, my new ultrasound, which was done last week, has some new things on it and from the report, it seems that they are very concerned about one new growth in particular...this is the report:
Right lobe measures 4.4x2.1x1.2 cm. There is a 2 mm cyst in the upper pole unchanged from previous study. There is also a 3 mm cyst in the mid portion of the right lobe new since the prior exam. No vascular flow or calcifications are associated with these cysts.
The left lobe measures 4 x 1.7 x .3 cm. There is a 2 mm cyst in the upper pole unchanged. A 2 mm cyst is seen within the mid to lower pole of the left lobe. This cyst also has benign characteristics. A 6 x 3 mm complex hypoechoic nodule with microcalcifications and increased peripheral arterial blood flow is seen within the upper pole of the left lobe. This nodule is new since the prior exam. The isthmus is unremarkable.

A complex 6 x 3 mm complex hypoechoic nodule with microcalcifications and increased peripheral arterial blood flow is seen within the upper pole of the left lobe...This nodule is new since the prior exam.

Impression:
There is a 6 x 3 mm complex nodule with microcalcifications and increased peripheral arterial blood flow within the upper pole of the left lobe. An ultrasound guided biopsy of this nodule is advised for further evaluation.

There are tiny bilateral cysts which have benign characteristics. There is a 6 x 3 mm complex nodule with microcalcifications and increased arterial blood flow within the upper pole of the left lobe. An ultrasound guided biopsy of this nodule is advised for further evaluation.


Tomorrow is the day for the biopsy and having read about this particular type of thyroid nodule, it doesn't sound like this is going to turn out well for me.
Can anyone give me some hope? Some idea of what to expect? Longevity? I have 4 kids and am worried.
Thanks

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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Re: New here, worried and scared

I think you are getting wayyyy ahead of yourself. That's a really really tiny nodule, and most doctors would just watch and wait with that one, I'm surprised they are going to be able to get it with a needle biopsy---take a ruler and look at 6mm and see how tiny that really is.

The thyroid is a very vascular area, so blood flow isn't that alarming, and calcification isn't that definitive in thyroid cancer as in others.

I think you should consider going to the thyroid board here, and post your thyroid blood work (tsh, tsi antibodies, free t4, free t3) I think you have a thyroid disease, likely hashimotos. This can cause nodules, especially if you aren't on thyroid hormone.

You will be fine, no matter what. I had a much larger nodule (2.5cm) that actually was cancer, and that was 8 years ago, and I'm no worse for the wear. I don't think you have a cancer to worry about, just take it step by step, this is a really small nodule---even if it were, you would likely just remove it and be done with it.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: New here, worried and scared

When you get it, let us know the result of your biopsy. I'm new at this and found it difficult to understand all the information you posted. But I would recommend that you take your time in deciding the course of action or treatment if the result is positive.

I read a book titled "Should I Be Tested For Cancer? Maybe Not and Here's Why?" In this book a study was mentioned where thousands of thyroids were examined at autopsy of people who died from other causes. Almost every thyroid had at least a few cancer cells. Many of these cells are either dormant or so slow growing that most people will never die from Thyroid cancer. Furthermore, not all doctors agree upon what cells are actually cancer. So, in some cases, it may be best to have 2 or 3 doctors examine the cells in question.

Doctors often will err on the side of judging cells to be cancer so as to protect themselves from future lawsuits. Treating someone for cancer who doesn't really need treatment never brings a lawsuit, so, many people get treated for "cancer" cells that would never be life threatening.

The bottom line: Take notice of the words they use to tell you what your condition is. If they say something like, "there are some cells that look like cancer so it's best to play it safe and do XYZ treatment" then it may be their decision to practice "defensive medicine" at your expense.

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Hi Reece,
I was hoping to see a reply from you.....
I could be getting way ahead of myself......I got sent for three tests, all three of which came back in a not so great way- my mammo came back and had to go back for more films and bilateral ultrasounds for microcalcifications that didn't exist a few years ago....still waiting for the results for the second set of films and ultrasound for that done yesterday- my bone density test came back with osteopenia- I know it's not that bad, but I am only 49 and never had any idea that I was at risk for osteoporosis, although I do have osteonecrosis in my wrist... And now the ultrasound fna-I guess it was the look on their faces at the radiologist- to have all three tests come back not "all's clear" has thrown me for a loop.
As far as any blood work being done, it hasn't as of yet....but they were in a hurry to get me back in for the thyroid biopsy. I got a call about the test results the very next day after it was done....with a schedule the biopsy as soon as possible....so that is what is contributing to my concerns.
I hope that you are right, that it is all for nothing and they are just making me more gray before my time...LOL

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #5
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Oh, and the unexplained weight loss. To loose 45 documented pounds in less than a month is a bit unusual...at least for me. I am tired all of the time, no energy, feel run down, and need multiple naps per day to get through the day. I have never been like that. My skin is really dry , despite using moisturizers so all of it is just got me worried.
Thank you for the reassurance. And if you are so inclined , can you wish me some luck for tomorrow at 1:00......I sure could use some.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Thank you John. I will most definately make sure that I do have at least one other opinion, no matter what, the results say.
I learned to make sure to do that the hard way, after my first back surgery caused a spinal cord injury, so I am way too careful...

 
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Hi there,

Well first things first. Try to be calm and don't worry because it won't help you any! I had thyroid cancer last year and had a thyroidectomy. I had a bump and because I was hypothyroid previously I had an Endocrinologist so I asked her to check my neck. She found the bump and sent my for an ultrasound and yes there was a lump. She sent me for a biopsy but said I problably would be fine. But to her surprise and mine it was cancer. I went on a low iodine diet and had Radio active Iodine done and went to my basement for a week away from my family and pets while I was radioactive. I know it sounds like alot but I am fine now and also am married and have 2 children. There is alot of support out there too. You are doing all the right things right now, all you can do is wait now until the biopsy..Good luck and I wish you well.

Take care,

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Old 02-07-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: New here, worried and scared

I had Thyroid cancer in 1984 at age 32. My kids were young at that time.Total removal of thyroid, radio active iodine. 28 years ago and I am fine! It is very scarey waiting for test results! Even if it is cancer, the out look is very good!

 
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:28 PM   #9
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Re: New here, worried and scared

I had the biopsy at 1:00 today. I won't know the results according to the radiologist until possibly Monday or Tuesday, given the major snow storm we are expecting here tomorrow......then I got a phone call again from my doctor's office ( gotta tell you, I am learning to dread these calls).....apparently the second set of films, along with the ultrasound from the repeat mammo and ultrasound are not good- so now I need to go get a sterotactic biopsy of the breast too.
I swear, all of the stress from this is driving me crazy. How can it be that two issues can crop up at the same time, both requiring biopsy?
Anyway, thank you all for your support and encouragement.....it's going to be a long weekend...
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #10
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Quote:
my bone density test came back with osteopenia- I know it's not that bad, but I am only 49 and never had any idea that I was at risk for osteoporosis, although I do have osteonecrosis in my wrist...:
Bone density tests can be very misleading. Last I heard, not all testing equipment will yield the same result. For example, you could get tested in one clinic and get a diagnosis of osteopenia and then another test in another area (another state or county) might judge you to have good bone density.

Also, some people, with low bone density, have strong bones whereas some who have good bone density have weak bones. So, as I understand it, bone density does not indicate bone strength.

Bone density alone doesn't determine fracture risk. It's the strength of your bones plus your general health (ability to stay on your feet without falling). A person with good bone health can break a bone in a fall. Any bone can break if hit the right way.

Also, if a person falls and gets a wrist fracture, it doesn't mean they have osteoporosis or are at risk for osteoporosis. (I learned all of this by reading, "The Myths of Osteoporosis" that was recommended on the Osteoporosis board.)

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Thanks John. I have the report from the bone density scanning- it does say osteopenia- and my risk of a major fracture is 12% in the next 10 years- not sure where exactly that places me in the risk category but that is not the biggest concern on my plate right now....I had the breast biopsy yesterday and the thyroid biopsy the day before, so now I am waiting for the weekend to be over and hopefully to get some good news on Monday or Tuesday.....the stress is driving me crazy. I only mentioned the osteopenia thing because of the three tests my doctor sent me for, all three came back with a problem- two of them seemingly more problematic than the bone density...
I will check out the osteoporosis board and read there too
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Old 02-14-2013, 09:53 PM   #12
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Well, I finally got the phone call from my doctor this morning, and as I posted on the breast cancer forum , some interesting things happened with the biopsies..
the thyroid biopsy was a wash- in that they didn't even have one thyroid cell in the entire biopsy specimin. I have to have it redone but my doctor says that I can wait a week or so to give my thyroid a bit of time to heal from the digging around and the bleeding that the biopsy caused. Somehow , they completely missed the biopsy area, and while the doctor was not sure what tissue was sampled, none of it was thyroid...
Then this evening, I got a second phone call regarding the stereotactic breast biopsy. They were supposed to sample some increased microcalcifications - apparently, they didn't get any of them- thought that they had one in the biopsy tissue, but apparently did not- so the samples have gone back and forth all week between the pathologist and the stereo site, and still none...I need to go redo that on Tuesday.
If this were someone else, I wouldn't believe that it could happen once, let alone twice to the same person in 8 hours...
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
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Re: New here, worried and scared

If you are in the northeast (impacted by snowstorm) then you have some great hospital and doctor options. I'm so sorry you are having such bad luck, and I hope you are with top notch people. I would imagine that such a small 6 by 3mm nodule would be challenging to get cells from because it's so small.

I would focus first on the breast issue, the thyroid issue is so small at this point, it's not going to hurt you even if it were cancer. If you feel you aren't getting top notch care, switch to a better medical team.

 
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #14
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Re: New here, worried and scared

Hi Reece,
Yes, I'm about an hour outside of NYC, but we have tons of doctors who have moved here from the city (expanded their practices) since a NYC hospital chain bought out our local hospitals.
I'm not upset with my doctor, I am however a bit upset with the biopsies both missing their intended targets.
It's been almost a month since all of this started and it is certainly not making me happy to have to repeat either one of these.
My doctor did send me to a different radiology group , but he said that if they miss again, he will need to send me for an open biopsy for the breast issue, and I am not sure what the next option is for the thyroid if they also miss again......
Do you know what they do if they miss the target again?
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #15
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Re: New here, worried and scared

I finally had the second/repeat thyroid biopsy on Friday. Hopefully, this time, they will not only get at least one thyroid cell but will have some of the cells from the new growth...the second radiologist said that he usually doesn't biopsy anything under 1 cm in the thyroid, but due to the microcalcifications, and the vascularity, he went ahead. Hopefully, I will get a call on Monday or Tuesday that it is benign.
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