Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
I have a lump in my thyroid and I am about to have a thyroid biospy, I&...
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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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I have a lump in my thyroid and I am about to have a thyroid biospy, I'm scared

I have had a nuclear scan and a ultra sound of my thyroid. They could not tell me anything, they said they wanted to do it over again in 6 weeks if the lump was not gone. Well I waited 8 months to go back and they now want me to have a needle biospy because the lump has not gone away. Does this mean that it is something that I am going to have to surgery???
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16 Comments
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Don't be scared.  I've had needle biopsy's of my thryoid tissue.  You go the x-ray or radiology dept.  I never felt it.  They numbed my neck, used like a very fast gun to extract tissue to biopsy and that was it.  It took all of about 20 minutes and was painless.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can understand your fear but try not to get too anxious.  The biopsy itself isn't too bad at all and it is soooo important to know what the lump is.  I went through the same thing 8 years ago; I had a thyroid nodule that turned out to be thyroid cancer. I had a my thyroid removed and now I take synthroid everyday to replace it, and I feel great!  Remeber, these things are very rarely cancer but if that's what it is, better to know now and get it dealt with.  Thyroid cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer (it takes a long time to spread outside of the thyroid ...as much as ten years)and the treatments are no big deal.  I hope this info helps...
Lotsa luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have had SEVERAL Fine Needle Biopsys done with a very large goiter that i have. I too was terrified when i found out that i had to get this done.. honestly and truly its the thought of having needles in your neck .. it just sounds so incredibly painful but it wasnt!!.. The worst thing to me was feeling the suction when they were trying to extract fluid .. and that didnt hurt it just felt weird .. As i said i have a very large goiter and am facing having to have it removed however i have no health insruance and am probably going to have to finance the surgery and now i am scared of the surgery .. if anyone out there has had the thyroid removal surgery i would like to know if its really a bad surgery??..
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Avatar_n_tn
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had this surgery about eight years ago after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  The surgery itself is fairly straightforward and my recovery was quick and overall not too bad at all.  They will make an incision in the base of your neck and gently remove the thyroid while taking great care not to harm the parathyroids that sit really close to it. When you wake up you will have a pressure bandage on your neck and your voice will be hoarse.  This is because of the breathing tube they put in and, in my case, went away within the day.  I think the worst thing was that the muscles on the back of my neck were quite sore and tight.  I was told that they extend the neck backwards to do the surgery so the muscles get stretched a bit.  Overall, it wasn't bad at all and I went home two days after surgery.  I was started on synthroid six weeks later on after radiation but once on it, I got back to normal pretty quick.  Hope this helps...
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Avatar_n_tn
I JUST REMOVED MY THYROIDS AT MSKCC IN NY.  WHICH WAS CANCER OF PAPILLARY TYPE.  I  WAS PUT SYNTHYROID 150MG ONCE A DAY.  IS THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF THIS DRUG IN LONG RUN.  I  HAVE AN APPOINTMENT NEXT WEEK (POST-OP).  SURGURY WENT WELL.  CAN ANYONE TELL ME IF WHAT I  FEEL IS WHAT YOU WENT THRU.  I  FEEL LIKE SOMEONE IS LIKE CHOKING ME.  JUST FEELS LIKE SOMEONE HAS THEIR HAND ON MY THROAT.  BUT THE PAIN IS VERY MINIMAL.  ITS BEEN FOUR DAYS NOW AND I  GUESS THE STITCHES ARE HEALING BECAUSE I HAVE CONSTANT ITCHING NOW.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had two surgeries on my neck, one to remove the thyroid nodule and the second one, six weeks later, to remove the rest of the thyroid and a lymph node after the pathology showed that it was, in fact, cancer.  I had a lot of swelling after the second surgery and felt a pressure on the base of my neck until the swelling went down.  It wasn't painful, just felt like I had a tight collar or something.  Maybe swelling is causing your sensations too.
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I WAS OPERATED ON THE THYROID AND TOLD THAT THE TUMOR WAS RAPPED ON VOCAL CORDS AND REMOVED IT WITHOUT HARMING THE NERVE AND THE PARATHYROID, AND MY LYMPH NODES OF NECK WERE NOT REMOVED BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SIGN OF CANCER ON THE LYMPH NODES.  HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ON THERAPY AND DO FEEL ANY DIFFERENCE FROM NOW AND THEN.  YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT THE SWELLING BECAUSE THE NUMBNESS HAS GONE NOW I FEEL LIKE A THROBBING FEELING ON NECK AND CHEST AREA BUT NO PAIN. SO HOPEFULLY IN MY 2ND WEEK OF RECOVERY I SHOULD BE FINE.  THANKS FOR INFO.
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just been to docs and he referref me to Ear nost and throat clinic. bit anxious that i have thyroid cancer!!! not really worried at all about it becuase prognosis is good!!!
few months ago i go a pain when i swallowed at base of my throat, it went after a day and came back a couple of months later! ended up in hospital having chest x-rays cos it turned into severe chest pain, and i found it very hard to turn my head and breathe. did any1 else experience this???
found a lump in my neck right next to my (what would be adams apple) if i was a guy! lol. i dont get any discomfort from it anymore, but have been referred! now unlike u people who pay for good treatment, im in the UK so i have to go on the NHS cos its free (and ****). but really wondering if treatment affects fertility or hormones??? dont really know a lot about this. if any1 can help it would be great. awaiting my appointment!!! :S
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to take so long to respond to your last question...I was away for a couple of weeks.  I have been on therapy for almost 8 years now and I am doing very well.  I feel a bit different from before this all started in that, even though I take .250mg of synthroid daily, I feel cold all the time and seem to tire faster than before. I am fit and healthy overall however, so no complaints from me! I hope your recovery continues to go well!
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any1 gonna answer????? lol wud b nice 2 kno how other people are feeling and a lil more info on subject as i dont have a clue!!! hehe. im starting to get pain there now and its bugging me! hehe
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Claire,

I never had chest pain or problems breathing although my tumour did cause me to gag sometimes if any pressure was put on it.  I don't really know whether it affects fertility however I was advised by my endo that I would be able to have children if I chose to do so after asome time had passed to make sure the radioactive iodine I had after the surgery was well out of my sytem.  My lump was also located right next to where an adam's apple would be in a guy...I'm told that the vast majority of thyroid nodules are not cancer, but to be sure, you should get a referral to a surgeon who can do a fine needle aspiration biopsy of the lump to see what it is.  Sorry to hear that you don't have confidence in your health care system...I'm in Canada and have nothing but good things to say about how I was treated in our universal system. Good luck with this...
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thanx v.much. ive read that in 90% of cases they are benign anyway so thas good! and even if they're not, they are the most common and easily treated cancer anyway! i had to wait 3 weeks to b referred to an ENT clinic! but i suppose cos u pay 4 urs its better! lol hopefully im ok, cos ive jus started a new job at an airport on shift work and im always tired now! lol. dont particularily want to hav 2 give it up!!!
were u scared when u found out urs was cancerous???
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I was a bit scared after my diagnosis but my surgeon loaned me a copy of a wonderful book called "The Tyroid Sourcebook" by M. sara Rosenthal.  He also booked an hour of office time just to discuss the surgery, the followup treatment, the probable outcome and possible (but unlikely!) problems. It eased my mind a great deal, explaining the types of thyroid cancer (mine was follicular) and the fact that it is very often completely cured after the initial surgery and radioactive iodine ablation.  It's been 8 years and I'm still cancer free!  I actually don't pay anything for my medical treatment...in Canada we have universal health care paid for by each province...our system's not perfect bu I have no complaints.  From the day I saw my family doc with a lump in my neck to the day I had my surgery was 4 weeks, after having had a multitude of tests including an FNA biopsy! I have heard horror stories of Americans having problems with their insurance companies...that's if they can afford the insurance!Anyway, I hope your case turns out to be nothing...take care.
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hmmm... lump seems to have disappeared! not totally, but become more squishy! and a whole lot smaller! lol. and NO im not stressed out, if someone decides i have the 'stress lump' lol. it sometimes feels lower down in my neck, other times it is further up, or... i duno i guess it moves...kinda! lol not really bothered anymore tho. jus wanna kno what it is/was! hope ur all ok. xxxxx
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey, I am where you are...I had the scan, the nodules were cold..there are 3, all together..Anyway, I am supposed to have an FNA next week, and I may just chicken out.

I hear they dont hurt, I hear they are horrible..I have NO idea what to expect, and the whole idea just freaks me out.

The doc wants the 2 biggest nodes done, which means about 8 sticks..Has anyone had one like this? What can U tell me? Does it really hurt at about the level of a blood test?

Anyway, I wanted you to know you arent alone in the world..tho it does feel like it to me with this stuff, some days. Pretty spooky..

i would love to know how you all are doing..

  Annetta
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Avatar_n_tn
well i have (as of friday 8/26/05 9:00 am it will be had)
a nodule in my n3eck that is cold and grows about 1 cm a week...

My grandmother has thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed at the age of 20... she is 86 now...

my other grandmother is dying of colon cancer..

my uncle has non hodgkins lymphoma

i say has on all these things because there is no cure for cancer however thyroid cancer has a very low mortality rate. so youll be around a very long time (see my grandmother)


all of my mothers side of the family has thyroid disorders. and
my uncle and mother have primary billary cerosis and the same cancer uncle has that as well along with thyroid cancer...

can you say predisposition?

anyways i had 22 biopsys done.... IT SUCKED!!!!!

heres the score they will numb your neck it burns for about 10 sec then they will guide a needle in with ultrasound.. take samples... and leave ya alone it took me an hour with 8 youll take about 25 min.. your thyroid dosent have alot of pain receptors so thats a plus.. it does feel like a pinch.

youll go home and wait... and dread....

then youll get the 3 possible results..

benign.. its nothing go about life..
malignant... surgury time...
inconclusive...

what!!! inconclusive...

your thyroid is made up of follicular cells... however the most common type of thyroid cancer is as well... so if its a cold nodule made of follicular cells they will treat it as cancer..

however if its a hot nodule... well they RARELY are cancerous.... like never... but they cant say never...

hope that explains what your gonna go tthrough...



If it is cancer... dont freak out.... your in good company...

ill see ya in the lounge!


Live strong!
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