What do I need to ask at hospital: Am at hospital... - Thyroid UK

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What do I need to ask at hospital


Am at hospital Monday and wanted to get prepared! I know am going for scan and FNA but not sure about anything else!!! They have said the lump could be cancer!!! Reading some of the post I have some symptoms palpitations, head aches weight gain, hair loss, ridgid nails,tiredness and so on!! Also have suffered with bulimia for 20 years :/

What kind of things should I be asking???

2 Replies

I think it was premature to worry you that your lump or nodule might be cancer. That is what the Fine Needle Aspiration will test and it is standard procedure to test all nodules of a certain type or size. There are 5 stages of results:

FNA1 = inadequate cells taken to test.

FNA2 = benign

FNA3 = inconclusive, likely benign

FNA4 = inconclusive, likely cancerous

FNA5 = cancer

There are several posters here who have had 3 or more inconclusive FNAs and tumours were benign after removal. My FNA was inconclusive but hemi-lobectomy surgery was scheduled without further tests to remove the nodule as it was affecting my breathing and swallowing. Histology of the removed tumour showed I did have cancer but it hadn't spread outside the lobe to the other lobe which was removed 3 months later.

FNA has been described as sticking a needle into an orange and pulling out cells. Guiding with ultrasound helps but if the needle doesn't hit the precise area where it may be there could be cancer cells the result will be inconclusive and repeat FNAs will be recommended unless the nodule is seen to be impacting on nearby organs in which case hemi-lobectomy will be recommended.

The remaining thyroid lobe is expected to do the work of the removed lobe so thyroid hormone replacement isn't prescribed unless TFT indicate it isn't working.

The FNA sounds gruesome but the two I had were done quickly and without pain after the first moment when the needle goes in. They resulted (See Clutter's list of FNA result interpretations) in an FNA2 (under ultrasound) and an FNA3. The worst thing was waiting weeks for the results, the first time it was from October to January! It led to a hemithyroidectomy in March and then they found, to my relief, that it was benign. Now, I'm having to see whether the remaining half-thyroid will work like a whole one. Another appointment for a blood test has just been postponed, 'due to unforeseen circumstances' until July. Good job I feel fairly well! Apart from these niggles, every professional I encountered during the process was really caring and helpful. I'm a huge asker of questions and went armed with lists of them but always received patient answers! It's better if you spend a bit of time thinking about just how much you want to know as not everyone is alike. I'm a 'tell me more than I need to know' type. Just read a few of the questions people ask on this site and you'll find out what you want to ask. Good luck on Monday. Remember you can't change anything by worrying about it so it's a 'Keep calm and carry on' moment. Hopefully, your family and friends will surprise you with their love and concern as you go through the next few weeks. It really helps.

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