I recently had my entire thyroid gland removed. Two small cancer clusters were found 5mm and 6mm. I had a body scan today in preparation for radioactive iodine treatment and my thyroid levels are still high. Is this an indication of thyroid cancer or just remaining thyroid tissue?
I'm pretty sure they want your TSH to be high for RAI. Have you been started on synthroid yet? After RAI your synthroid will keep your TSH low for cancer suppression. My RAI was 5 months after surgery so I was started immediately on synthroid, then given Thyrogen prior to RAI. Some have RAI soon after surgery, so are left to go hypo, and not put on meds. until after RAI.
It's really difficult to get good blood test markers for cancer recurrence until *all* of your thyroid tissue is removed (by RAI). From there they will stabilize your levels then watch for unexplained rises in TSH and thyroglobulin levels - that's what the consider an indicator of cancer recurrence. Having your levels off now (before RAI) only means that there is still thyroid tissue and they can't tell if it's cancerous or not until the RAI dose and scan.
Hang in there!
papillary carcinoma '03
recurrence and RAI '06 (and probably '08)
three sisters with papillary carcinoma (one with three recurrences)
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