Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
Papillary Thyroid Cancer
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Papillary Thyroid Cancer

My wife has had a small bump on her throat for a couple years and finally convinced the family doctor to have it cut out. And the pathology report came back as Papillary Thyroid Cancer.

Many questions have been coming up. One of the most frequent ones we have is, given the amount of time it has been growing, what probablility is there that it has spread into her lymphatic system? Is it fairly common for PTC to spread in this fashion? Where does PTC 'typically' spread to?

Not sure if it is connected or not but she also has had a couple MRI that are showing a 'nodule' on her pancreas. So we are wondering if it is possible that it has spread to her pancreas?

Doc gave us the initial diagnosis yesterday morning and set her off to get an ultra-sound today. He also stated he plans to remove her thyroid in a couple weeks and that he will decide after that whether to do  the radio-therapy with I-131.

Problem is that our doc is tied up in surgeries for the next couple days and is unavailable for questions after dropping this bomb on us.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.


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Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid cancer and most treatable.  It is not uncommon for the cancer to spread to local lymph nodes however spread to the pancreas would be very unusual.  The role of the upcoming ultrasound is to evaluate the thyroid as well as the surrounding lymph nodes to help plan surgery.  It is important to work with the surgeon who performs a large number of thyroid surgeries (preferably greater than 30 per year).  The staging of the cancer is made after surgery, then decisions can be made regarding the need for radioactive iodine.
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
Sarasota, FL
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