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my mom has thyroid cancer

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Old 03-14-2006, 07:43 AM   #1
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my mom has thyroid cancer

1st time to this board! I don't know all the details but my mom had her thyroid removed and a lymph node that was cancerous. It was attached to her jugular vein. She had the radioactive iodine treatment done and there are still 2 spots still there. She goes back in 3 months for more blood work then another scan in 6 months. Is all of this normal? She is freaked out and can't clearly discuss everything with me. They said she is welcome to see an oncologist. Is there something else she should be doing? She feels that she has a poor prognosis but if they aren't going to do anything else for 3 months then I think things must be ok. Any information you have or experiences would be so helpful. Thanks!!!

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Old 03-14-2006, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: my mom has thyroid cancer

Welcome to the board.

I don't think remaining thyroid tissue is necessarily a poor prognosis, especially if it hasn't spread to other organs distant from the neck.

They can't give you RAI too frequently, you need time between treatments depending on your dose, and it takes time to work, so tell your mom to hang in...think positive, have faith.

Old 03-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #3
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Re: my mom has thyroid cancer

Do you know what type of cancer your mom has? That makes a difference in prognosis as well as your mother's age. It is also important to note that in most thyroid cancers, involvement in the neck lymph node does not make the prognosis worse(as in other types of cancer) . Most thyroid cancers are very treatable. I recently had a TT for papillary cancer and did have involvement with one lymph node. I will be having RAI soon. I am 42 and my prognosis is great. I expect this will be more of an inconvenience ( labs, scans, replacement thyroid homromes etc.) than a life threatening disease.
Good luck to you and your mom. This board is full of good info and helpful people

Last edited by moderator2; 03-15-2006 at 05:11 AM. Reason: please honor your membership agreement - read and follow the posting rules

Old 03-14-2006, 04:41 PM   #4
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Re: my mom has thyroid cancer

If your mother's health is pretty much OK otherwise she should be fine. Thyroid cancers are very slow growing and are only a little more difficult to treat than skin cancers, IMO.

Since her cancer also involved a lymph node I'm going to assume she has the most common thyroid cancer, the papillary variety. People have lived with untreated papillary cancers for decades (but don't let your mom try that, OK?). Her biggest problems are the short term symptoms of (1) not having a thyroid anymore and (2) going through the extreme hypothyroid phase the doctors want before giving the RAI. She will feel like crap (she probably already is). No one who has not experienced the extreme hypothyroid condition can imagine just how bad it makes you feel. She will be tired and weak and probably depressed. Help her as much as you can but remind her that things will get better once she gets past the RAI treatment.

But remember, when she says she is feeling terrible, she probably is not exagerating.

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