Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
FNA Results - Hurthel cells
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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FNA Results - Hurthel cells

I have Hashimoto's Disease and have three nodules.  One in the left lobe (34x37x39mm) and two in the right (6x8x8mm and 13x13x16mm).  My FNA showed my left side as benign.  The right shows the following:  Contains abundant colloid, epithelial cells with Hurthle cell change are present as sheets and small clusters.  Some cells have a reactive appearance however no cytologic features of papillary carcinoma are seen.  Says benign nodule is favored.

I have trouble swallowing, hoarseness and some occasional ear pain on my right side.  I believe I went undiagnosed for over 10 years.  My question is... how likely is this to be cancer?  I'm seeing an Endo and he said they couldn't guarantee it is benign but it's "probably" not cancer.  I'm going to have a consult with an ENT as well to get a second opinion.  I'm petrified to wait and see if it really is cancer especially since I have trouble swallowing.  Any ideas?
97953_tn?1193367871
the risk of cancer for a "benign" FNA ranges from 1-10% depending on the pathologist.  This is a typical description for a benign FNA and Hurthle cells are normally found in the thyroid and often over-interpreted as "atypical".
2 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I can start by mentioning that thyroid cancer is a lot less of a worry other cancers.  Most types have a cure rate at stage I and II of 100%.  

I think your doctor is right, with your biopsy results and how your nodules look you have low risk of cancer and if it turns out the the biopsy was wrong, the chance they can cure you by a removing your thyroid and a dose of radioactive iodine is 100%  Either way you're good.  And there is no harm in waiting for what the ENT guy says.

If the nodule on your left is causing you discomfort, the ENT might suggest removing that half of your thyroid or the whole thing.  If they do that they'll send it to pathology for a really good look.

I suspect you're getting good care, and the ENT can advise you on whether surgery is recommended. Cancer isn't really that much to worry about.

I think for a lot of people with thyroid cancer their thyroid is working just fine otherwise, so having to have it out is a bummer, because it means going on meds, and potentially not adjusting very well to them.  In your case your thyroid is already trouble.

Good Luck.
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Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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