Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Cancer of the thyroid


I am 29 years old and following a biopsy on Friday I was told that I have cancer of the thyroid.  A 1.2 cm nodule was found on my neck during an ultrasound in January.  I am told that the cancer is papillary but am still at a lost of what this all means.  I am just scared because I have a 3 month old son and I want to make sure I am around to see him grow up so if anyone can provide any info it would be greatly appreciated.

Q:  What are the chances of the cancer spreading and to what parts of the body?

Q:  Since I now have thyroid cancer does that increase my chances of triggering cancer elsewhere in my body?

Q:  Is this something that I need to have removed immediately and how fast does the nodule grow?

I have an appointment on Tuesday with a surgeon to discuss having my thyroid completely removed.    
6 Responses
158939 tn?1274918797
Welcome and I am so sorry.

I know a bit about what you are going through.  I was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma when I was 37.  During the following 12 months three of my four sisters were also diagnosed - the youngest was 26.  It's frightening, I know but you have TONS of support here.

First of all, cancer is cancer.  Some forms are easier to treat and slower growing (like thyroid cancer) but it is still something that needs to be taken seriously and removed.  Consider it like you would cancer anywhere else.  If you had a lump in your breast that big that you knew was cancer would you have it out??

There is one good thing about thyroid cancer over other cancers.  Now don't get me wrong - I'm **NOT** saying that it is a "good cancer" - some people think so but I don't.  The thing about thyroid is it is the ONLY tissue in the body that absorbs iodine.  This is good because once the thyroid is removed any remaining thyroid tissue (and thyroid cancer) can selectively be destroyed.

You are probably familiar with chemotherapy.  The problem with chemo is that it kills off GOOD cells too.  Thyroid cancer treatment is very different.  After surgery we are given what we call RAI which is radiated iodine (I-131).  This radiated iodine seeks out and destroys JUST the thyroid tissue (and cancers), leaving the other tissues alone.  It's very effective.

Because of your age you have very, very good chances of outliving most everyone else.  I'm going to past some good references about thyroid issues, thyroid cancers and the prognosis (the last one).


Finally, you asked if thyroid cancer increases your risk of other cancers.  According to the research, it can.  Thyroid is a hormone and is affected by estrogen and progesterone.  There is some evidence that the risk of other cancers, including breast cancer, are increased for thyroid cancer patients.  Don't panic though, the risk is only slightly higher.  As my endocrinologist says, "one the cancer switch is flipped to ON you need to watch for other cancers more".  That being said it would be a good thing for you to talk to your OB/GYN about mammograms too.   I'm only 40 but have been having mammograms since I was 35 as well as a yearly colonoscopy - just in case.

Don't let all this information freak you out too much.  It is a huge amount to swallow.  Just concentrate on you and your family; read some of the information I pasted here; chat with others here on this forum; read a lot of the previous postings, and take a deep breath.  There are many here who have been through it and we'll help get you through it too!!

177486 tn?1192161447
Hello, I was also diagnosed last June 06 with a FNA suspecious Papillary cancer and just in Jan 07 had my entire thyroid removed.  I had another problem that actually found my cancer.  I only knew of my left side which was between 0.8 and 1 cm.  After I left Okinawa Japan, I sought out my surgeon and endocrinologist.  After long decisions between my wife and I, surgeon and endo and with the support of this forum, we decided the removal of the left side only.  
    However, just before the surgery the surgeon asked that during the surgery and if the frozen path report comes back positive should I take the other side out.  We agreed.  It was a good thing because papillary has that problem of possibily having micropapillary within the thyroid and I had a 0.2cm there.  Lucky for me the surgical margins were free and no lympth activity. I just finished my RAI and have started my hormone again. I am extremely positive as others will probably tell you.
Relax, read, ask questions!!! Knowledge is power! Power yourself to the information to get the info you need to ask your medical professional!  Oh by the way, I am 38 Male.  Cheers, Scott
168348 tn?1379360675
Interesting to note what you said in your post about PapCa ..

Was your original nodule Papillary or benign upon frozen biopsy?  

U R lucky they found your 0.2cm PapThyCa during frozen section (if I understand correctly), as mine showed up 48hrs later .. (.005cm and .04cms respectively PaP w/similar histology as yours with no evasion, etc.)

Both my nodules were benign on frozen section .. they tested suspicious (atypical) for follicular so GO FIGURE they found Pap elsewhere  ..2 different breeds going on which was a surprise for me.

Avatar universal
welcome to the forum.I too had pap cancer they found in my sub sternal goiter .I am almost ready for the RaI.
it really be ok.This cancer is soooo curable.Just one nuclear pill and we arer done.No chemo and other nasty treatments.After the shock of hearing the C word I made up my mind to fight it with everything in my being.
I read up on supplements and antioxidents to help your body fight off the free radicals and strengthen the immune system.I am a new ager so a holistic approach to this combbined with my treatmen tfeel the way to go for stopping this cancer and preventing mire as my body keeps getting lumps and polyps.
So any way welcome and let me know if I can be of any service . Dont hesitate to ask.This forum and the people here are wonderful.
Love Venora
177486 tn?1192161447
Hello, my original exams showed that of a suspecious PAPCA and was it was between 0.8-1CM in size with ultrasound.  When I received the frozen section during surgery it was confirmed as PAPCA then when the final result of the path came back is when we (Surgeon and I) found out that the right size had a 0.2 CM rize one too.  I was taking supplements a few years so I am a firm believer that antioxidents saved my life.  Research is showing that these cool things are actually helping more people survive these issues due to all the free radicals out there.  When I found out I doubled my intake until surgery.  I cannot wait until I can get back on them due to the iodine content in them.  I have to wait one more month to take them again as told to me by my NUC Med doc.

So the official sizes were 0.8cm Left and 0.2cm Right.  

So I kinda knew it was cancer before I went into surgery hoping that the pathologist was wrong in Okinawa Japan.  Just my luck she was right.  


O'well  its gone, RAI is finished and just waiting for the scan on the 19th hoping for a clean result!!!  
1569091 tn?1295812151
So sorry to hear that you have to go through this at such an early age. However, it wont be as bad as you think.

On Sept. 2010, I had my entire thyroid removed, because the ultrasound showed a shadow, and FNA did not give a clear picture of what was going on with my thyroid. The shadow happened to be a part of my parathyroid peeking through my thyroid. So my surgeon decided that he should go in to find out more. My surgeon was not certain if he would have to remove half or all. After they went in and sent part of the thyroid to the lab, it was decided that the whole thyroid, and one lobe of the parathyroid should be removed. They had discovered 2 small less than 1 cm cancers. I am now on Levothyroxine, and have been adjusted three times. The most difficult part is getting the right adjustment of hormone for your body. During this process, I have found myself to not feel well on certain occasions. I have all the hope in the world that it will finally smooth out. Keep the hope. This forum is great for health. I have received some worthwhile information on here. One thing that I caution against is not worrying about something that has not yet occurred. We do not know if something will happen or not. Concentrate on what is going on now, and be cautious.
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