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  • To thyroidectomy or not to thyroidectomy ...that is the question

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    Old 03-05-2009, 04:36 AM   #1
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: San Antonio, TX
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    veryberry1 HB User
    Question To thyroidectomy or not to thyroidectomy ...that is the question


    I'm new and in need of advice.

    I have a 3.6 cm nodule on the left side of my thyroid and a 0.5 cm nodule on the right side. All of my blood tests are normal, so despite it's size, it works fine. My biopsy results were inconclusive. Though most of the cells seen were normal, there were some microfollicles and three-dimensional clusters. Also, my doctor noted on the ultrasound that there is a lot of blood flow to the nodule.

    My doctor has recommended a complete thyroidectomy. She said that taking the left side is the only way to completely rule out cancer, and she doesn't normally recommend leaving in a thyroid nodule over 3 cm. She also said that since they'll have me open, taking out the right side will prevent having to spend the rest of my life monitoring that nodule.

    I, of course, am unsure. My husband says that since they couldn't say that it is definitely cancerous, I should forget about it and get on with life. He, however, is the man who almost died from sleep apnea because he wouldn't see a doctor, so I find it hard to take medical advice from him.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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    Old 03-05-2009, 04:54 AM   #2
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    Re: To thyroidectomy or not to thyroidectomy ...that is the question

    Unfortunately, the only way to know if it's cancer or not, is to remove it. FNA only takes a sample of cells--not all of them, and their results are usually inconclusive. With many thyroid cancers, such as follicular, they can't tell unless it's removed, because they need to see if the nodule is encapsulated or not, which they can only do when it's removed under a microscope.

    Your nodule/tumor may indeed be benign---you'll never know until it's removed.

    But think of it this way, there is a tumor on your thyroid lobe, that's as big as the thyroid lobe---like having another pinky finger growing on your pinky finger.

    So the nodule is large, if you don't trust this surgeon, you should definitely see another one. The problem with leaving the other side in, is that there is a nodule there, and you would have to keep watching and wondering that one, and one surgery is easier than two.

    Just so you know, the surgery is not a difficult one at all---mine was a breeze, I had cancer (went in knowing it), and it's all gone and I live a normal life without a thyroid. '

    Keep in mind, your husband and friends may be in denial, and even though this is not an emergency surgery, if you are insured and healthy, I think you are going to have to consider it very seriously.

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