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Old 08-02-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
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Question Thyroid nodule and afraid

Hi -

I'm a 33 year old female with a good health history. I had a baby back in January (my username is from when I had my first child) and about 3 weeks ago my hair started falling out like crazy. I figured it was baby-related, since that can happen. About a week after that I felt a lump in my throat - nothing bothersome, just there. On a whim I called the Aetna nurse line to ask if my hair falling out was baby-related, and she asked for any other symptoms. I told her nothing really - that I have ovarian cysts and I had just noticed a lump in my throat. She said it could be thyroid-related, so I saw the doctor.

Long story short, I had bloodwork & an ultrasound done. The thyroid levels were mostly OK - they said the thyroid antibodies were a little high, but that I also had a nodule so that was not surprising. She said I need to have the nodule biopsied so I am having that on Wed.

I am terrified because from what I've read thyroid nodules don't typically cause symptoms - but I can definitely feel it in my throat. It does not inhibit swallowing or breathing, and I can't really feel or see anything different in the mirror. I am so afraid this is cancer since I can feel it in there. Of course now that I know it's there it's about all I can think of - so I don't know if the feeling is genuine, or if I can feel it b/c I'm concentrating on it so much.

Anyway - I was just wondering what you guys with nodules have experienced. Also, how long did it take you to get results from your biopsy? Is it normal to automatically do a biopsy of a nodule or would they only suggest it if they thought something was wrong? I'm terrified I have the horrible kind of thyroid cancer that spreads quickly and is basically untreatable.

Thanks for any advice/comments you have. I appreciate it.

 
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

No you don't have a kind of cancer that spreads and isn't easily treatable. If you are referring to anaplastic thyroid cancer, that's really rare, and most of the time occurs in the elderly, not you. You likely don't have cancer (it is curable by the way and I've lived fine since I had it 4 years ago)r, you likely have ordinary thyroid disease. The internet leads everything to cancer, so that you will see a doctor when necessary, it means you are spending too much time inside at the computer worrying, and should be out enjoying time with your baby instead.

85-95% of nodules are benign, plenty of people you know are walking around with them and will never even know it. They will automatically do a needle biopsy on a solitary nodule that is 1 cm or over. If they see suspicious cells, they will want to do surgery, if they are normal, they will want to watch for growth over time. And if this is causing symptoms and discomfort they may recommend removal.

You can live a long and healthy life without a thyroid if that is necessary, but for now, take this slow, one step at a time, and get out and enjoy this summer....

 
Old 08-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #3
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

I also have a nodule on my thyroid and the only way they found out was when they did my neck MRI the MRI picked it up...otherwise I would have never known about it. I was suppose to have an ultrasound done to find out more about it...but I haven't rushed to do so as it isn't causing me any problems...

Debbie

 
Old 08-02-2009, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Hi! I had a biopsy on Thursday for a 1.4 cm nodule, and expect to have the results tomorrow (Monday) or Tuesday. It was a completely solid nodule and like you, I'm ridiculously convinced it's the "bad" kind of thyroid cancer. I know I'm being silly, and luckily my DH is good at calming me down.

So, try to relax! As others have posted the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of it being nothing to worry about! Keep us posted!

 
Old 08-02-2009, 06:36 PM   #5
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sverige View Post
Hi! I had a biopsy on Thursday for a 1.4 cm nodule, and expect to have the results tomorrow (Monday) or Tuesday. It was a completely solid nodule and like you, I'm ridiculously convinced it's the "bad" kind of thyroid cancer. I know I'm being silly, and luckily my DH is good at calming me down.

So, try to relax! As others have posted the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of it being nothing to worry about! Keep us posted!
Sverige - you sound just like me. I've all but convinced myself I have the rare cancer, too. I hate how my mind does this. I just had the ultrasound Thursday evening and all of a sudden I have all these symptoms of the worst kind of thyroid cancer. But I do trust the Lord - I know He will work everything out for good. The waiting is just so hard.

Can you feel yours in your throat? That is what has me concerned that I can so readily feel it (from the inside - nothing looks different on the outside) but my neck is squishy in certain areas. Bah.

Please keep us posted too on your results -- I pray everything is clear!

 
Old 08-03-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

I'm more concerned that you get proper treatment for your Hashimoto's. As the posters above have said, the chances of the nodule being cancer are very small. But with positive antibodies the chance of this being Hashi's are pretty much 100 percent.
Many don't get the treatment they need for this and your "mostly normal" bloodwork indicates that your doc isn't going to do much for this either... Or are you getting treatment now? Can you post your labs here with the ranges and we can see just how hypo you are.. Given the hair loss it's pretty much a given you are hypo.

 
Old 08-03-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaimless View Post
I'm more concerned that you get proper treatment for your Hashimoto's. As the posters above have said, the chances of the nodule being cancer are very small. But with positive antibodies the chance of this being Hashi's are pretty much 100 percent.
Many don't get the treatment they need for this and your "mostly normal" bloodwork indicates that your doc isn't going to do much for this either... Or are you getting treatment now? Can you post your labs here with the ranges and we can see just how hypo you are.. Given the hair loss it's pretty much a given you are hypo.
Thanks, mccaimless. All of this is so new to me. It was totally by "accident" that any of these doctor's appointments were scheduled, so I'm thankful for that. I think my nerves - no, I know my nerves are getting the best of me and I'm obsessing over this.

**UPDATE** I just got my bloodwork report and:

the "thyroglobulin antibodes" are at 175.
T4 = 10.4
TSH, 3rd generation = 1.42
I don't have a T3 number on here.

Other numbers on this report that were out of range were the MCV = 79.9 (low by 0.1) and MCH = 26.5 (low by 0.5) and my ferritin was a 10, which is exactly the bottom level of the normal range.

What do you think this means? Is this indicative of Hashimoto's? (Obviously I am seeing a doctor for confirmation...but those of you with experience, I appreciate your input to ease my mind.)


I called my mother-in-law who is an RN and she too suggested Hashimoto's. I called my doctor's office and they are pulling my report so I can go pick it up. I did not know anything about this condition but I know now that a FNA can also be used to test for this, not just cancer. Of course the word 'biopsy' scared the crap out of me - and still does - but knowing the FNA was ordered perhaps because of my blood counts in addition to the nodule is reassuring.

Of course I'd prefer to have no condition, but if it's between Hashi's & cancer I'll take the Hashi's any day.

I did look up symptoms of hypothyroidism and I have many, particularly the dry skin and difficulty losing weight. I also was completely unable to breastfeed either of my children and I know thyroid issues can cause that difficulty as well.

Thanks again for your post.

Last edited by MomInApril; 08-03-2009 at 02:12 PM.

 
Old 08-03-2009, 02:52 PM   #8
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Hi! Got my biopsy results today and it was negative. Said that I don't need to do anything. I am going to follow up with my primary MD and get my blood work re-done.

Question for all - would an increase in Synthroid help reduce the size of or slow the growth of the nodule? I currently take 75 mcg and my last TSH was ~ 1.75. I know that I feel better when it's below 1.0 so thinking I might want to push for an increased dosage.

MominApril- how are you today? I'm sure that you'll get good results too.

 
Old 08-03-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sverige View Post
Hi! Got my biopsy results today and it was negative. Said that I don't need to do anything. I am going to follow up with my primary MD and get my blood work re-done.

Question for all - would an increase in Synthroid help reduce the size of or slow the growth of the nodule? I currently take 75 mcg and my last TSH was ~ 1.75. I know that I feel better when it's below 1.0 so thinking I might want to push for an increased dosage.

MominApril- how are you today? I'm sure that you'll get good results too.
Oh I'm so happy for you!! Praise the Lord!

I am neurotic today, still. :-/ I will be glad when the test is over on Wed. and I get the results.

 
Old 08-03-2009, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Hang in there Mom! I know how hard it is to wait! I'm praying for you too!

Oh, and you might want to bring a scarf to wrap around your neck after the biopsy! I didn't think of it and felt like dork walking around with a big bandage on my neck

 
Old 08-05-2009, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

Hi Mom! How was your biopsy today? Praying that all went well and you're not too uncomfortable.

 
Old 08-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #12
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Re: Thyroid nodule and afraid

I hope your biopsy went well for you.

See if you can get your doctor to do the correct tests to see where you are at with your thyroid hormones. You need a Free T4 and Free T3. You also should get your vitamin D and B12 levels drawn as they tend to be low with thyroid disease.

Your TSH isn't high so that's going to make it difficult to find a Dr who doesn't go by that level to treat. TSH levels don't mean anything when it comes to Hashi's and you need to treat by your Free T levels and most of all symptoms.

Hope this helps.

 
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