I had a complete thyroidectomry about 5 years ago. I had cancer in both lobes. I now have a lump that my doctor thinks may just be scar tissue. I had an ultrasound today. The thing no one is telling me is if it isn't scar tissue, what else could it be? Could it be cancer again even after a complete thyroidectomy? It's nerve wracking.
Cancer can recur even after total thyroidectomy. It most commonly recurs in the thyroid bed and/or the nearby lymph nodes. Chances are good that it won't be cancer. I'm not exactly sure of the statistics, but it's something like only 5-25% of thyroid cancer survivors have a recurrence.
If you post your ultrasound report here once you get it, I know there are at least a couple of people on the board who are able to make sense of those things and maybe be able to give you a hint as to what may be going on.
First of all, what type of cancer did you have? If it was papillary or follicular they need to run a thyroglobulin (Tg) test on you ASAP. You should also have an uptake exam.
If it was anaplastic or medullary you need to have your calcitonin levels checked.
These blood tests (and the radiation scan if papillary or follicular) will tell if it is a recurrence or scar tissue.
It is possibly to have a recurrence after a complete thyroidectomy (I had a recurrence three years after my surgery - my sister has had three recurrences) but the Tg and uptake scans should catch it early.
Are you being treated by a thyroid specialist (endo, ENT, or oncologist??) If not, please find one for further evaluation!
Keep us posted
papillary carcinoma '03
recurrence and RAI '06 and probably '08
three sisters with papillary carcinoma (one with three recurrences and distant metastases)
I had papillary thyroid carcinoma. I did have a radioactive iodine treatment and body scan right after my thyroidectomy. That was 5 1/2 years ago. At the time, no one told me I needed a second round of RAI and a second scan. I found that out a year ago and then shamefully put it off for a year. I'm scheduled for my second RAI and scan next month. I had lab work last week with my ultrasound and have more labs scheduled with my RAI and scan.
I'm sitting on pins and needles waiting for this ultasound information to come back.
Get the thyroglobulin run ASAP - that will tell whether or not you have a recurrence (better than any ultrasound or other imaging). If you have already had that lab run, call and get the levels. Anything above .3 is not properly suppressed and should be treated.
Hugs to you - I've been through one recurrence (and looks like another one is happening now) and my sister has been through three recurrences. Hang in there - it's treatable!!!
Hello, I had a thyroidectomy for Pap Car Stage 3 in Oct. In Jan I had a round of I131, and it showed "moderate uptake" in the thyroid bed. My new dr ordered a ct, ultrasound, and chest x ray two weeks ago. He found a 1.8 cm nodule in the left thyroid bed. He says he has to do a biopsy but that he's looking at cancer. The previous cancer was in the right lobe. What are the chances of it being in the left lobe when the left lobe tumor was benign during surgery? It was stage 3 bc it had spread to surrounding tissue. Would a dr tell me he was looking at cancer if he thought it could be anything else? Any feedback would be great. Thanks!
This is a very old thread and none of the above posters even participate in the forum any longer...... often when members see an old post such as this come up, they don't pay attention.
It would be best if you'd start a new thread, by clicking on the orange "Post a Question" button at the top of the page; that will bring up a form to type a new question, then when you are done, click the green "Post a Comment" beneath your post and you'll have a thread all your own..
How do they know the left lobe was benign during surgery? Did they biopsy it then?
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