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TxsChatterbox 11-11-2006 08:42 PM

Thyroid nodules - need advice
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I have a lump in my neck that I have had for over two weeks now. I went to my doctor over a week ago and he sent me for an ultrasound of my neck. When he felt it he couldn't feel nodules, just a muscular mass. He ordered a full panel for blood work and a thyroid panel too. He said that all my results, other than being iron deficient are fine.

My ultrasound results showed that I have two small bilateral nodules in my thyroid. I don't know anything about them, but an aide at my school had a major thing with hers last year that resulted in major surgery and lifelong medicine. I'm a little nervous about this. He told me that it's rare that small nodules like mine are cancerous, but I'm a little worried.

I haven't been able to keep my voice for twelve weeks and sometimes it feels like there is something in my throat. Also, when I went in for this to be looked at he found swelling in my throat and it didn't even hurt. He wants me to go to an ENT because of my voice instead of a thyroid specialist. I'm not sure what to do though. I'm also not sure where I could begin to look for a good specialist. I don't want someone who doesn't know what they are doing to dx me.

Anyone have any experience or suggestions that can help me? Thanks.

Tami :) [/FONT]

lizzie_j_mcg 11-11-2006 09:26 PM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice
Hey. I have just been through a somewhat similar experience. My fat neck was pointed out to me by a work colleague. I didnt even know it was swollen. I went to an after hours medical clinic, the doc took one look at it and sent me off for a blood test and an ultrasound.

The blood test showed it wasnt affecting the function of the thyroid, but the ultasound showed i had a multinodular goiter (a nodular (or lumpy) swelling of the thyroid). I then had a radioactive uptake scan were they injected me with dye and then scanned my thyroid.

That showed "Multiple cold nodules" and i was recommended to have a biopsy to "rule out cancer". After freaking out for a solid three weeks, i had the biopsy and saw the surgeon. Both recommended i have the goiter dealt with (surgically) as soon as possible, so when the biopsy came back as negative for cancer, i booked in for the Total Thyroidectomy. December 1 (ARGH!)

My advice: it's damned scary, but get it dealt with. Take someone you love and trust to your appointments with you. I took my mum and found she asked all the stuff i wanted to know, but was too bewildered to remember to ask.

TxsChatterbox 11-12-2006 05:22 AM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Thanks for your reply. I just hate that this is happening. It makes me worry so much. My husband and I want to start our family this summer and I'm afraid this is going to keep us from finally being able to begin our family. Did the biopsy hurt? I just wish I knew more of what to expect and could get it done quickly. I hate sitting around and worrying. [/FONT]

Jenny C. 11-12-2006 05:44 AM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice

I had a similiar experience...I found a lump on my neck back in August...I thought I was sick, because I had a sore throat with it, and I was having trouble swallowing. I assumed It was a lymph node and so I forgot about it.
Then a month later, the lump was still there, and I was still having difficulties
swallowing, and even I went to the DR.s.
He sent me to an ENT, they ran a cat scan and ultrasound...found one solid nodule with a cyst around it.
Well long story short...I had the biospy done, and it came back benign..the ENT told me he would recommend to just watch it and come back every three months.
This led me to a ENDROCOLOGIST(can't spell)..this is a Dr., that deals nothing but with thyroids...Which this is who I think you should go to..
Just from personal expereince.
Anyways, they took my same slides, from the biopsy that the ENT, did, and they had their pathologist read it, and it came back at their office, benign but also inconclusive, because there was too much blood in the sample.
Long story short...HE ALSO TOLD ME TO WATCH IT...and they would follow it and keep doing ultradounds...he told me, it was 95% accurate.
Well I was too afraid, to take everybody advice, and I opted for surgery, which is an option, both Dr.s gave me...they said surgery is the ONLY WAY THEY WOULD KNOW 100%...So I wanted to know 100%.
I know surgery is scarey....but I AM SOO GLAD I DECIDED TO DO THIS.
I had my surgery on Wednesday, of this past week...they only took out my right half of my thyroid, to biopsy it.
Here when they went in, it WASN'T a cyst around the nodule, as they had said from the CT scan and ultrasound, it was a lymph node.
They had to remove my lymph node along with half of my thyroid, to have everything biopsied.
Anyways, now they are saying...there is a 1 in 5 chance it is indeed cancerous. I will know within a week, the results. My point I am trying to make to you...Is IF I would have listened to BOTH Dr.s, they would have had me following it, and this is indeed a higher chance of cancer, then what they expected.
My Dr. told me, HE IS SOO GLAD, I listened to my instincts, and pursued, to get the surgery.
He never expected everything he found.
So my advice to you...Is get the biospy, which isn't bad at all....It is a quick pinch, and it is done...see what that says, and then if they give you the option, to have half out, to have it biopsied..I would do that...they HONESTLY don't know 100%, UNLESS they remove it and biospy it...You can live without a thryoid, or a half, for that matter.
I hope I was helpful..If you have any questions please feel free to contact me back,
Good Luck and Please keep me posted!!

LisaBob 11-12-2006 10:43 AM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice
I had a feeling of pressure in my neck (and a number of other symptoms over the last year). Long story short, found out I had nodules - had inconclusive FNAs and had a complete thyroidectomy. Turned out to be precancerous adenomas and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Anyway, tests to surgery was about 6 weeks.

Thyroid trouble won't preclude your from starting a family! Do web searches on symptoms and start a list to take with you. (You'd be surprised at the number of odd symptoms that can be thyroid related.) Also make a list of questions so you don't forget anything. Someone already recommended you take a loved one with you - great idea!

Make sure whoever you go to listens to you!!! Let us know what happens.


Oleander53 11-12-2006 02:54 PM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice

Please try to stay calm and do not rush into anything. I have 2 nodules on my thyroid and have been through so much since July when they were found.

The left one is 2.5 cystic and the solid part is 1.7cm and right one is 6mm solid. Depends on your Doctor if they feel cystic is worriesome. I had one Doctor who had a bad experience with a cystic one and they other one said he never worried about the cystic ones. So????? It can get confusing. Solid and cystic nodules are different........

I have had 4 official opinions. I saw 2 Endocrinologists and a Vascular surgeon. 2 said surgery and one said let's watch them for a while. The ENT I did not like actually did not feel you should rush to take a thyroid out unless absolutely necessary. I liked his opinion but not him.

Thyroid cancer is slow growing and you have time to make a calm decision. 2 tried to rush me to surgery one stayed calmed and is following my nodules......

The routine tests seem to be ultrasound, labs, then a Fine Needle biopsy or aspiration. I did not have one myself. But it is standard procedure for nodules if they are large enough to biopsy. It is extremely important the pathologist reading your biopsy is well trained with thyroid ask that question if you have to have a biopsy. Some come back inconclusive........... If you have to have a FNA ask who will be doing the biospy and how many do they do and who will be reading it?

I recommend a 2nd opinion for any recommended surgery. Especially since you are talking about starting a family.

I recommend staying calm and looking at all the facts......... I was in a panic state with fear my first 3 months and could not make a logical decision on what to do about my nodules. The more I educated myself and got used to the idea I had nodules on my thyroid the calmer and clearer thinking I became...........

Get the book Thyroid for Dummies the 2006 version. I do not agree with everything in it but it is very helpful.

My Doctor is now watching my nodules. I have an ultrasound every 8 weeks and labwork. I do have some pressure in my throat but not bad. I am on Medication to supress my nodules. He has told me if they grow, or if I have increased pressure he will take at least 1/2 of my thyroid out if needed. So he has not made me any promises that he can heal me but he feels the thyroid is a very important gland. I like that he was calm and I also felt he was not rushing me to surgery to C his A. If you know what I mean.........

I hope this comes across to you how I want it to. I guess if I can tell you anything it is do not rush and try and make a calm decision........ do not let anyone rush you into anything........ Fear can make you make mistakes.

Usually you are sent to an Endocrinologist but I saw 2 and wish I would have skipped them. That is just me...... The Endos will send you to an ENT.
Many people here on the board see DO's Doctors of Osteopathy.........and seem to be really happy with them.......Going to an ENT seems like a good decision.

Remember you have a say so about your treatment.;)

Let us know how it goes.......... Sorry I wrote you a book.


jobeth12 11-13-2006 02:28 PM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice
I just got diagnosed with Graves and had two nodules (about 1cm in size each) which were found through a sonogram (she also did a bone density test as well that day).

My Dr. opted to do a biopsy on them both this past Friday, which I have to say was not the most pleasant experience but it is not that long. I was in a little pain afterwards, but you can take something for the pain and I iced my neck and I was fine the next day.

I too am trying to start a family and I opted to get put on PTU instead of the RAI treatment since I would have to wait up to 12 mos. to start a family due to the radioactive material you ingest (some Drs' differ on the time). I also am seeing a reproductive endocrinologist as well, which is how I found out about my thyroid as I also have blocked fallopian tubes. It does concern me about taking a drug during pregnancy, but they claim it is safe.

TxsChatterbox 11-13-2006 03:22 PM

Re: Thyroid nodules - need advice
[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Thanks for your stories and help everyone. I really appreciate it. I made an appointment with and Endo today for the 30th. It is the first available. I will start there and then work through whatever they say. It really helps to know that I'm not alone in this and not the only one out there nervous and confused. Please keep me updated on y'all too. Thanks again.

Tami [/FONT]

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