Thyroid UK
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Worried sick! Throat lump cancerous? & a lot of palpitations 😕

I have Been reading a lot about thyroid cancer and worried myself sick, all I can think of is the lump in my throat and how I can't get rid of the sore throat. I wish my referral to the ultrasound would come.. For the last couple of weeks I feel like my throat has been closing and it's scaring me. I have a lump on the lower right side which is quite big and soft. I have also noticed a couple of days ago at the top right of my throat a smaller hard lump.. I'm worried sick and cannot stop thinking about it. I already have health anxiety so a lump (infact 2) is my worse nightmare!

I also went to the docs today about my palpitations, jelly legs and not being able to walk up stairs without almost collapsing. My heart rate was fast for a resting period she said and I maybe over medicated but to be honest this doc has admitted herself she's not very "thyroidy". My last TSH 0.89 FT4 20.1 - Got another test today (including FT3) along with PA. I'm pregnant and a bit scared to drop my levo. Still in the early stages at only 13-14 weeks x

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Muffin, you aren't overmedicated, TSH is low-normal and FT4 high-normal, both perfect results for a pregnant mum and baby. The palpitations and jelly legs may be due to pregnancy or stress. Palpitations will certainly be worse when you are stressed. It will be helpful to check out some relaxation and breathing exercises.

The large nodule may be pressing on your windpipe which does make it feel like there is a lump of something stuck in your throat. I did have my throat close a couple of times and chocolate milkshake was ejected up and through my nostrils. Messy and unpleasant, and only fatal to my white shirt :-D

90% of thyroid nodules are benign, so hang onto that thought. If the nodule is >1.5 cm or looks suspicious on the ultrasound a fine needle aspiration biopsy will be done to check for malignancy. The procedure isn't painful as local anaesthetic is given but it is a little uncomfortable lying with your throat thrust up and there will be some bruising and soreness for a few days.

Thyroid nodules and, if malignant, thyroid cancer, are very slow growing so if surgery is required it is likely to be delayed until after you've had your baby. 5 year survival rates are around 97%, and after that your survival chances are as good as anyone else.


Hi clutter. Thanks so much for getting back to me!

I've had the lump for ages but now I'm starting to get really anxious about it since I've found the harder lump above. The doc did say today she wouldn't be worried but she "can't" say it's nothing serious. I'm due an ultrasound soon I got referee 3 weeks ago. But I read things like people had alsorts of tests and then when they finally had things removed it's been cancer. Like I say I have really bad health anxiety and it mostly surrounds the C word.

I thought maybe before I went to the docs I could be over medicated just because I see people write about palps when they are but I have been diagnosed with hashi and my thyroid does stay the same for long.

I think the fact I'm pregnant and I'm constantly thinking about the baby or the lump doesn't help but I just feel like everything's getting on top off me. When I mention the lump or C people just laugh at me now coz they don't understand so I kinda laugh it off with them but inside I'm terrified


Muffin, there's a 90% probability it won't be cancer, thyCa is still very rare.

Most FNAs will be negative but sometimes a result will be inconclusive due to the difficulty in analysing small FNA samples. A small number of cancers are found in nodules after removal because larger samples enable an accurate diagnosis. Papillary cancer is the most common and least aggressive. Patients <40 may not need completion thyroidectomy and will retain half their thyroid gland. Surgery removes thyCa and there's none of the radiotherapy and chemotherapy which makes other patients so ill.

As far as I'm concerned I have been cancer free since my hemilobectomy in Dec 2011, before I even knew I had cancer. I'm now in my 4th year of remission.

Please consider doing some relaxation and breathing exercises. Stressing isn't going to change anything and you will be more comfortable if you can manage your stress.


I've also had thyroid cancer, and my advice to you is don't worry yourself sick. Easier said than done, I know ;)

A thing that helped me tons during the cancer treatment and the 2 years after while I've been quite sick is thinking of a friend of mine who stressed herself terribly over a similar lump. She was a shadow of herself over the year it went on, and we both look back on that as a terrible year for her, but the lump turned out to be nothing. I'm sure a lot of friends think she was very ill over that year.

I have been nothing like that during the past 2 years. They've actually been some of the happiest years of my life, because I went in, even before the tests, determined I was not going to get crushed like my friend. Thyroid cancer is not a death sentence like other cancers. In fact with it you are no worse off than someone with a benign lump who gets it removed.

It will be a struggle, but it's not something that has to spoil your life. The next few months or years will just be a bit different than you probably planned.


Your doctor should have raised your dose of Levothyroxine as soon as you found out you are pregnant. Are you taking any iron? The baby could be taking all your iron and not leaving much for you. That would make you breathless. You need to rest and relax and take things easy. Worrying about your health won't help, and doctors are very unlikely to give you medication (apart from Levothyroxine and vitamin/mineral supplements) or perform surgical procedures while you are pregnant. My sister in law has developed a lump on her thyroid and her doctor said "oh women get this kind of thing frequently when their hormones are changing". She is menopausal rather than pregnant, but be reassured that if there was anything ominous they will have referred you urgently. My sister in law has been referred for an operation but not urgently. I expect they will wait until you have given birth, then see whether the lump disappears on its own. Best of luck, and don't worry.


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