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Old 12-14-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
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I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

i just had the needle biopsy done 2 days ago and was told there was evidence of calicification which is unusual. Meaning that the nodule was bleeding at some point and calcification took over in those places.

Also, my brother had papillary cancer of thyroid and had it removed and did the RAI. He is of course on synthroid and has been for 18 years. I am 59 and he was only 26 when this happened to him.

Has anyone heard of this calcification? The doc told me he thought they would have to take out my thryoid, but I am saying...wait a minute.

i actually feel ok. It was discovered by accident from an ultra sound done to my neck for a swollen lymph node.

anyone have any info for me?

Last edited by golfhat; 12-14-2008 at 04:44 PM.

 
Old 12-14-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

How big is the nodule? I'm interested in the fact that your brother had papillary cancer. My oldest daughter had pap cancer too. Now my younger daughter & my middle son have nodules.

Does anyone else have thyroid nodules in your family? Fam

 
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:11 AM   #3
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Calcification means the body is "protecting" itself from something foreign, and is building calcium around it---happens with things like tumors and nodules.

In most cancers, such as breast, if they see calcification of a nodule of tumor it is a sign of cancer. With thyroid, it is different, it is definitely a red flag, but there are people that have thyroid nodules with calcification that are benign.

The only way to know for sure is removal, or at least a needle biopsy to analyze the cells inside---you can't see thyroid cancer on any other studies, only those.

Before removing the thyroid, depending upon the size of the nodule, you should have at least have a needle biopsy, and go from there, with the history in the family, and your age, you should probably have the lobe removed and analyzed in a lab. As you know, since your brother has led his life after this, whether this is benign or not, you will be fine.

Go with doctors that are educated in thyroids.

 
Old 12-15-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

I too had a nodule 2cm discovered by accident through an ultrasound for lymph node.
I had the FNA which came back inconclusive and my Dr reccomended a partial thyroidectomy. While in surgery it was discoved the nodule as well as smaller ones on other side that werent originally biopsied were cancerous. Papillary. I ended up having a total thyroidectomy 2 weeks ago and am waiting to see what follow up treatment I will have when I see endo this Fri. I am glad I had the surgery because as you can see those FNA biopsies are not always a determining factor as in my case.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 06:27 AM   #5
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

My Mother had thyroid cancer so when my nodules appeared everyone wanted my thyroid out immediately. I also said wait a minute. So far so good I still have my thyroid.

I recommend an uptake scan to see if your nodule is hot or cold.......then they can also do a biopsy. Best to get it thoroughly checked out.

I go for ultrasound and scan now every 6 months to a year and have labs every 6 months........

It is good to ask questions and be your own advocate. If you have not done so read Thyroid for dummies current edition.

Let us know what is going on...Oleander

 
Old 12-17-2008, 06:31 AM   #6
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Ree,

I am sorry to hear this....this is where it gets tricky...On this board you see how many FNA's are not accurate or they are inconclusive. Was there reason your doctor wanted to do the partial........anything that made him/her suspicious? I hope you are recovering well.

Oleander

 
Old 01-07-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

I done four FNA for last 6 months.
1st) Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance
2nd) Not enough cell.
3rd) Not enought cell.
4th) Benign

When I heard from my Dr. told it is Benign, I was so happy, but she threw me a BUT. Because the ultrasound suggested some red flags as Reese mentioned:
(Here is portion of the Ultrasound report:
marked central lobulation, calcification, and vascularity. In total the complex nodule measures 2.6cm x 2.3 x 1.6cm. Malignancy must be excluded given this complex appearance and central vascularity.)

My Doctor told me, for some country who have no access to FNA, for the ultrasound result like this, it would be a surgery.

I thought Ultrasound is the first scan, and the FNA result should be the one to determine doing the surgery or not and more reliable. Should I follow the FNA or the Ultrasound? of course, doctor never give definite answer.

I am so scare, this unsure situation is killing me even though I got a Benign FNA result.

 
Old 01-07-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

I don't mean to hijack "golfhat's" thread but may I suggest to "wavewave74" please be careful and try to get another FNA done in order to get a tiebreaking 3rd opinion if possible. I had an "atypical" and "benign" diagnosis and my insurance refused to pay for a 3rd reading so against the advice of my doctor I paid for a 3rd reading at an Ivy League University Hospital known to have one of the best cytopathologists. They concluded that their was a 20% chance that it was cancer as some of the cells had some of the characteristics of PTC. My thyroid was removed 2 months later and cancer was found in my complex nodule (partially cystic) as well as on the other side of my thyroid in a small 2mm spot that was thought to only be a cyst or blood vessel on ultrasound. I knew that my doctor had wanted that 3rd opinion but was also watching out for me from a cost standpoint by suggesting that I might be ok taking a "wait and see" attitude (take another look at the nodule 3 to 6 months later) but in hindsight the decision to get the 3rd reading was instrumental in getting the cancerous thyroid out of my body.

Everyone's situation is different and only you and your doctor can make the best decision for you. I wish you the best with whatever you decide. Please start a thread for further advice and to keep us posted.

 
Old 01-08-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

I thought I had responded to this but haven't and haven't read all responses either. I had an ultrasound on a huge knot on my thyroid I discovered myself in late March. Ended up having that nodule and a few more along with my left lobe removed April 5th. Frozen section in surgery showed it was ok so he closed me up. If it was suspicious, they removed the whole thing. Pathology came back 4 days later when I had stitches removed and I had cancer in two nodules.

He gave me the choice of going back to surgery or have ultrasound in 6 month intervals and watch the right side. I chose the wait and see approach. Then in October the ultrasound showed calcification and blood flow in some small nodules on the remainder thyroid. He gave me no choice but surgery. Dec 27th I had the rest out. Thank goodness it was benign this time but I (and ENT as well) think it was only a matter of time before it could/would turn to cancer. I just began my Synthroid today at 12 days post surgery and also still on calcium supplements with lunch and night due to hypocalcemia from surgery. If it were me, I'd have that out being that you do have family history. My surgeries (other than the calcium issue this time) was a breeze. I do wish that it would of all came out at once but didn't work that way.

I have an oncologist (weather permitting) appointment this week to see if he agrees with my ENT treatment of removal and Synthroid. I'm hoping no RAI and I feel ok skipping that.

 
Old 01-10-2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetLuvr View Post
I don't mean to hijack "golfhat's" thread but may I suggest to "wavewave74" please be careful and try to get another FNA done in order to get a tiebreaking 3rd opinion if possible. I had an "atypical" and "benign" diagnosis and my insurance refused to pay for a 3rd reading so against the advice of my doctor I paid for a 3rd reading at an Ivy League University Hospital known to have one of the best cytopathologists. They concluded that their was a 20% chance that it was cancer as some of the cells had some of the characteristics of PTC. My thyroid was removed 2 months later and cancer was found in my complex nodule (partially cystic) as well as on the other side of my thyroid in a small 2mm spot that was thought to only be a cyst or blood vessel on ultrasound. I knew that my doctor had wanted that 3rd opinion but was also watching out for me from a cost standpoint by suggesting that I might be ok taking a "wait and see" attitude (take another look at the nodule 3 to 6 months later) but in hindsight the decision to get the 3rd reading was instrumental in getting the cancerous thyroid out of my body.

Everyone's situation is different and only you and your doctor can make the best decision for you. I wish you the best with whatever you decide. Please start a thread for further advice and to keep us posted.
PetLuvr,
Thanks for your reply, may I ask what do you means for "Characterics of PTC" in your 3rd reading?

 
Old 01-11-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

wavewave74,

PTC is diagnosed by abnormal nuclear changes to the cell. There are probably 6 or so changes that are commonly associated with PTC such as nuclear grooves, nuclear enlargement, more dispersed chromatin and overlapping. In my "benign" diagnosis the cytopathologist said "nuclear features of PTC have not been identified". In my "atypia of undetermined significance" diagnosis it was stated "some cell groups have enlarged nuclei, small nucleoli and more dispersed chromatin." The findings were not conclusive to say it was "suspicious" for PTC but it was not convincing enough to be called "benign" either. In my third and determinative reading a "follicular neoplasm" diagnosis was rendered due to "nuclear overlapping" and "crowding" as well as some cells demonstrating "nuclear elongation", "chromatin clearing" and "intranuclear grooves". It was stated that up to 20% of nodules classified as such are malignant.

So you can see the variance in opinion that can occur when having a thyroid nodule FNA read. It is complicated by often times not getting an adequate cell sample as was indicated by 2 cytopathologists trying to read yours and concluding that the sample was inadequate. My surgeon told me that my FNA had enough cells but was just not in quite the right spot to obtain a sample that would have been more representative of the cancer that was indeed there.

I hope this helps you in trying to determine the best course of action. If you get a chance perhaps you could start a thread so that we could follow your progress and learn from your experience. Wishing you the best.

 
Old 01-12-2011, 08:40 AM   #12
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetLuvr View Post
wavewave74,

PTC is diagnosed by abnormal nuclear changes to the cell. There are probably 6 or so changes that are commonly associated with PTC such as nuclear grooves, nuclear enlargement, more dispersed chromatin and overlapping. In my "benign" diagnosis the cytopathologist said "nuclear features of PTC have not been identified". In my "atypia of undetermined significance" diagnosis it was stated "some cell groups have enlarged nuclei, small nucleoli and more dispersed chromatin." The findings were not conclusive to say it was "suspicious" for PTC but it was not convincing enough to be called "benign" either. In my third and determinative reading a "follicular neoplasm" diagnosis was rendered due to "nuclear overlapping" and "crowding" as well as some cells demonstrating "nuclear elongation", "chromatin clearing" and "intranuclear grooves". It was stated that up to 20% of nodules classified as such are malignant.

So you can see the variance in opinion that can occur when having a thyroid nodule FNA read. It is complicated by often times not getting an adequate cell sample as was indicated by 2 cytopathologists trying to read yours and concluding that the sample was inadequate. My surgeon told me that my FNA had enough cells but was just not in quite the right spot to obtain a sample that would have been more representative of the cancer that was indeed there.

I hope this helps you in trying to determine the best course of action. If you get a chance perhaps you could start a thread so that we could follow your progress and learn from your experience. Wishing you the best.
Thanks PetLuvr

 
Old 01-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #13
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

I too would love to hear how you make out, I was just at my endo's office a week ago. Having had a follow up ultra sound, that when checked recommendation of a FNA was given.

I have a couple 5+ cm nodules, just a couple that are cystic and solid, with one now showing calcification. I was to have my biopsy yesterday, however GA has been in an ice prison, lol ... Anyhow, if you could share your experiences. It would be great for those traveling the same road.

I'd do the same if you all are interested.

Hope you're doing well and you news is good!
Jon

 
Old 01-13-2011, 06:09 AM   #14
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Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Certainly, I would share my story and hope it would help many people like us.

I am going to see my doctor tomorrow, and would decided to go for a surgery to find out what exactly inside me, I encounter the following article, it helps me to come up this decision, it is a great article for thyroid calcifiation statistics, at the end of the day, when things is uncertainly, and it all comes down to the number (statistics).

More importantly, it would be the nervousness that would kill me instead of my Thyroid.

Have a look at the document, and hope it helps!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112538

 
Old 01-13-2011, 06:47 AM   #15
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Smile Re: I have a thyroid nodule with calcification

Thank you for the link. I stumbled on that very same article myself. Hoping that because it is 8 1/2 yrs old, those numbers have improved <grin>.

For certain if one must get cancer, thyroid is the most survivable. With just 1 type (the rarest) being something that can do any major harm.

At the end of the day, I don't focus on it. As there isn't anything I can do to change it and worrying really only makes things worse as it is still there and now you're all worked up, hehehe. I have to let it go and act on the advice I am given.

Take care and thank you.

 
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