Okay, by happenstance, while at the doctor, I noticed that just barely pressing on my lower throat, I was experiencing a good deal of discomfort. Also, my throat has been dry and sore for a good while, leaving me a little raspy.
The doctor had an ultrasound done and low and behold, "Cold spots" and "large nodules" are present. He spend more time telling me not to worry about cancer than explaining what was going on. I have an uptake scan to determine if my thyroid is sucking up iodine like it is supposed to, and perhaps a selection of tissue to examine.
How worried should I be?
I've been going downhill steadily for several years, with various combinations of bad days and worse days. Recently after being hospitalized for chest pains, my doctor decided I needed thyroid suppliments. Things were looking better after about two weeks then it began again. Turns out I have something called Protatitis -- Can this be caused by thyroid issues, or is it a general immune system issue?
Anyway -- feeling like crap, worried, and wondered what I've got to look forward to.
At this point, I figure something is definitely wrong with my thyroid gland which will require its removal (and I'm pretty concerned about that).
No history of thyroid or cancer not related to smoking in my family. Just wondering what odds look like.
Your odds are great, you will just need to go thru. this process first. Most pp. get nodules from a diseased thyroid, often something called "hashimotos" which leads to low thyroid function/hormone in the body.
Large nodules, and many nodules are not usually associated with thyroid cancer. But many times they are removed to avoid getting thyroid cancer in the future, and to make you more comfortable, and it's almost easier to regulate thyroid hormone medication without a thyroid than with one that isn't healthy.
If you did have thyroid cancer, which is really unlikely, it is not like others. It's curable....
But you will have to get some of these nodules biopsied, (called "fna" with a needle) and if they are really large, you might have to consider the removal....and thyroid surgery is really not a bad one. I went thru. it last year, and it was easy for me.
Your doctor seems to be doing everything correct, but at some point you might want to see an ENT/neck or vascular surgeon, and maybe an endocronologist as well.
In a way, this is good, you might be on the way to solving why you have been feeling poorly, and fixing it as wel....
If you're a singer, and you do need to get to the surgery stage, you are going to have to find the very best. It depends where you live, but my local university hospital had a great thyroid specialist.
You might want to do research on that in case that comes up.
Thyroid nodules are not an emergency, and theres plenty of time to investigate all your options.
My ENT said national statistics show some permanent damage to the vocal chords in one out of a hundred, a statistic that would be of concern for someone whose livelyhood depends on vocal performances. If you do need the surgery do what Reece said and search out the very best. If you don't mind traveling to Savannah I can certainly recommend my surgeon. He said he sees no more than one in a thousand with damage and has published how he refined the technique for better results. You will want someone who "is in the neck" several times a week, not every now and then.