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Was this odd that my doctor dismissed this problem?

5 and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with cystic thyroid nodules. I had a biopsy done of three of them and was told they were benign but to come back to have them looked at after six months. Life got in the way, and after five and a half years of dealing with pains, hoarseness after speaking shorter and shorter amounts, jaw and ear pain, I finally caved and went to an ENT. I was told to get a cat scan, which then led to me going for the follow-up. At the follow-up before Christmas of 2017, the doctor dismissed my jaw and ear pain as "stress-related" even though I had more nodules on my thyroid than before, and some had grown in size. He told me quite dismissively, "I guess we will do a sonogram, and possibly a biopsy again to make sure they are still benign."
I had the sonogram done yesterday and then the followup to that today. I saw on the sonogram yesterday that my thyroid resembled swiss cheese! And that was just after a quick glance at the screen. Today at the followup, he told me that many of them were still cystic, but some of them had become solid tissue.
When he told me to watch out for pain (exactly in the places I have told him I have been having pain,) he dismissed that and said that my pain was "nowhere near the thyroid", which is bull. I have pain in my larynx and radiating jaw and ear pain, hoarseness with just using a little bit of my voice. When I told him these things, he told me it was "unrelated to the thyroid" and regarding the hoarseness, "Just stop talking. What do you need to talk about?" I felt like I had been slapped.
And that was it.
He told me that coming back in six months was "too little time" and said, "I'll see you in a year for more bloodwork and another scan." And he sent me home!
Am I the only one who thought this was strange? I have a family history of cancers, and he just says "Come back in a year." I am only 31, and this has been getting worse for five and a half years. Opinions, please. I am going to another endo who specializes in thyroid disorders, but I feel this was handled poorly by my ENT.
2 Responses
1756321 tn?1547095325
This info is from The American Cancer Society...

"Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer can cause any of the following signs or symptoms:

A lump in the neck, sometimes growing quickly
Swelling in the neck
Pain in the front of the neck, sometimes going up to the ears
Hoarseness or other voice changes that do not go away
Trouble swallowing
Trouble breathing
A constant cough that is not due to a cold

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions or even other cancers of the neck area. Lumps in the thyroid are common and are usually benign. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed."
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
How large are the nodules?  Did the ultrasound report provide any description, other than that some of them are solid?  Is there calcification, hypervascularity, etc?

Did they not go ahead and do another biopsy or did the doctor simply "assume", based on the ultrasound that all of the nodules are still benign?

I don't know where you're located, but according to new ATA/AACE guidelines, biopsy is no longer performed on smaller nodules, unless other characteristics warrant.  Those characteristics may have been absent from your nodules.  

Nodules can change over time, depending on thyroid status and you didn't say if you've been diagnosed with any other thyroid condition, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto's, Graves Disease, etc.

Although the majority of nodules are not cancer, I agree that a year is too long to wait for the next ultrasound, though, again, ATA/AACE guidelines say that annual is often enough for most.  Unfortunately, many doctors are using the guidelines as specifications, instead of what they are - a guide that says each case should treated on its own merits.

You didn't say if you've been diagnosed with any other thyroid condition, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto's, Graves Disease, etc.  That's important, because nodules are very common when one has thyroid condition and being medication can help shrink nodules that may be causing pain.

In the course, of all this, you should have been tested for Free T4, Free T3 and TSH, at least, and preferably for thyroid antibodies, as well to determine if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition.  If you'll post the results of any blood tests, it would be very helpful for us.  Be sure to include corresponding reference ranges with any results posted...

I've been going through something very similar with a quite large nodule on my thyroid.  At least, my doctor isn't guilty of the absolutely horrible bedside manner displayed by your doctor, so I don't leave his office every time determined to find a different doctor... though I'm strongly thinking of it, simply because, like you, I feel that my nodule deserves more attention than it's getting...
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649848 tn?1534633700
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1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
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