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Thyroid Uptake Scan-levels normal but a photopenic area
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Thyroid Uptake Scan-levels normal but a photopenic area

What does this mean?   Should I be worried?   Do I have cancer?   Am I going to live?   How did I get this?
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5 Comments Post a Comment
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158939_tn?1274918797
Sometimes I'd like to take some medical "professionals" and just shake them until they quit spewing medical jargon and double-talk!

I've tried every on-line medical dictionary (and regular ones) and I cannot find a definition for "photopenic" but I can find a lot of medical articles where that word is used in the nuclear scan results.

From what I can discern from reading the articles (and I wouldn't suggest you do that because most of them are case studies in things you DON'T want) it looks like "photopenic" describes a "cold" mass, sometimes containing inactive or dead cells.

My head is hurting from reading so many medical articles but here's a link to a couple of friendly website describing thyroid nodules and what the difference in "hot", "cold", and "warm" means.

http://www.endocrineweb.com/thyroid.html
(read both the portions on nodules and part of "thyroid cancer" as it describes the nodules and scans too)
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/thyroid/
(click on "thyroid nodules" on the left then scroll down and click on "radioactive iodine scan")

The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor regarding these findings.  It does NOT mean you have cancer.  In fact there are NO good tests (other than a lucky FNA) to definitively tell you whether or not you have cancer.  These tests just try to determine the makeup of your nodules to decide if there are "risk factors" for thyroid cancer or not.  *IF* what's left of my intuitive powers are correct and this is just someones way of saying "cold" nodule then that is more of a risk factor than a "hot" nodule but that doesn't mean much - there are plenty of patients with "cold" nodules that are benign and there are some who have had "hot" nodules with a malignancy on it.

You need to sit down with your doctor and discuss this all out.  You also need to know that 95% of thyroid nodules are BENIGN and for those of us lucky enough to be in the 5% club, this is the most treatable cancer there is!

I can't believe someone would give you that medical description on a Friday afternoon then leave you hanging!  :-(  I'm sorry someone was so insensitive and left you in such a panic.

you'll be okay.  No matter what that nodule contains there are lots of us on here with TONS of experience with all sorts of thyroid conditions including those, like me, with cancer.  We'll help you through anything that comes along.

hang in there and post away!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you!   YOu made me feel much better!
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171867_tn?1271047748
Utahmomma is right.... PLEASE dont panic! I had two COLD nodules one quite large just removed 9 days ago and still have a cold nodule in.... NO MATTER WHAT it is your not going to die!!!! there is soooo many poeople on this board that have been through what you are going thru and we have all made it just great!
so please stay calm.. please try not to read too much it will just  freak you out as it did to me.... mine was suscpicious and came BACK BENIGN!!!!! during surgery so everything will be ok not many of them are cancer.... hot or cold! mass or small so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE dont make your self sick over this, just post when you feel all anxious one of will post back =) stay calm, talk a nice bath, glass of wine... e-hugsss to you!!!! god bless you and may he feel you with strength and serenity through this trivulous time =) everything will be ok

Kelly~
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi I am new. I am 36 years old and have seven children. I just recently found out I have a large hot nodule on my thryoid. my endo wants me to have RAO and I am scared of that. He also said I could take a pill to control my symptoms I can't remember the name of it but it has side effects. Have any of you had treatment for a hot nodule? If you can help me with any information I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks
Tami
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a large photopenic defect inferior right thyroid lobe.  First needle biopsy was inconclusive for lack of enough tissue.  Now they want to do another biopsy.   i123 nuclear scan was normal except for the photopenic defect.  I have suggested we do this next biopsy under anistesia so we can do pathology immediately.   I am getting scared as it has already been a month since we started pecking around trying to get an answer   Please releive my anxiety.  Am I doing the right thing.     Thanks.
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