Thyroid UK

The Fault In Our Stars & Ethanol Injection

Just watching The Fault In Our Stars, anyone seen it? It's about a teenage girl dying from thyroid cancer. Got me thinking or worrying as I'm currently having biopsies for thyroid cancer. I'm looking into having ethanol injections as my friends mum had it done & it worked first time for her, she fully recovered, this was in Italy (they're Italian.) She told me it's better to have ethanol injections. But my hospital docs have not even mentioned that as an option, it's all about surgery & radiology. I have a large irregular shaped cyst on right side of my thyroid plus a smaller one. I had a biopsy back in December & didn't hear back from the hospital so was worrying they had forgot about me (Whipps Cross, which has just got a really bad report that was on the news.) Got my GP to contact them when they didn't reply to my emails but they just said they hadn't finished testing, this was in March! He contacted them again & they finally let him know that my sample was insufficient to make diagnosis. So having another biopsy next week & seeing the surgeon again next month. I didn't realise ethanol injection wasn't really used in UK but was mainly done in Italy. Does anyone know of where in UK it is possible to have it done? It would be a pain if I had to go all the way to Italy to get it done, mind you could make a nice holiday of it...

5 Replies

Limbolass, I've not been able to find anything on percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) of thyroid cysts or nodules in the UK although PEI has been used in the UK for treatment of liver cancer.

Hemilobectomy or total thyroidectomy is the usual treatment for thyCa and, depending on the type of cancer, size of tumour and age of patient, follow up radioactive iodine ablatement (RAI) may be required.

PEI is used in the USA to ablate recurrent thyCa which is RAI resistant and has spread to lymph nodes or other organs where surgery isn't a viable option.


Thanks. That's what I feared. Italy here I come then!


Limbolass, why not discuss it with your specialist if the cyst is benign?


Please don't accept these delays. I had a goitre appear or was noticed when I was I labour with my daughter. It was needle tested every year for 7 years when the last test came back with showing signs of cancer. I was admitted within a month and had the thyroid and suspicious lump removed and then further tests done on it. It was caught so early that no further treatment has been needed. I have however only 3 weeks ago lost a very dear friend who kept ignoring the lump in her throat until it almost closed her wind pipe. (Doctor told her it was Asthma and to use an inhaler so she believed them and didn't question as symtoms got worse). By the time she was taken into A&E and the cancer unit had properly diagnosed her it had spread through her body. Lots of surgery, radio therapy, other treatments. Not being able to eat as food and drink going into lungs not stomach. SO PLEASE CHASE THE DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. if no joy with your local hospital, ask to be op'd out to another one. Hope all goes well though. I and my sister have both had thyroids removed (15 years ago) and we are both still her. Maybe a little bigger than before but nothing major. Take care.


Thanks for the advice. I wonder why some doctors become doctors at all, too many just fob patients off! When it comes to it I don't think I will let my local hospital treat me as I don't trust them after the shoddy way they have been so far & that terrible report they got. Apparently they have been put into special measures & have new leadership but I haven't noticed any improvements. I am looking elsewhere for treatment.


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