Do I really need a biopsy?!

I'm not the kind of person to worry or to perform Google diagnosis but I really don't want this biopsy done (fine needle aspiration)

I've hand a lump on the left of my neck just under my jaw for about 18 months I put it down to glandular fever or something and ignored it. Over the last 18 months up until January I was just feeling tired out and achey which tied in nicely with glandular fever. In January I went to the GP as I was having trouble swollowing and thought I needed something to help me kick whatever it was i had. I had antibiotics and felt no better I went back in July and had some bloods done. All normal. By this point I had noticed weight loss and on GP records it was 3 stone in about 6 months with no diet/exercise change. I then had an ultrasound on my neck lump and thyroid. I was told I had nodules on my thyroid and yes my lump was an enlarged gland and thyroid was enlarged. I have now seen a ENT consultant who wants the needle biopsy. Has anyone else had to have this to diagnose thyroid problems. I'm 99% sure it's some sort of thyroid issue not showing on bloods but I don't know what bloods they have done and I REALLY would prefer not to have a needle in my neck when there may be better blood tests to find out the issue. Any advice would be appreciated.xx

12 Replies

oldest ÔÇó newest
  • I'm sorry the only definitive way to know if this is a malignancy is by examining cell under the microscope. Blood tests will not show a thyroid cancer. I had several nodules and fine needle aspirations and was found to have thyroid cancer with completely normal thyroid function. It is an uncomfortable procedure but I found it less stressful than going to the dentist. I hope all goes well for you, goodluck.

  • Thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear that you had these results. I hope you have made/are able to make a full recovery. I'm really not a fan of needles or dentists. Well at least it's being taken seriously I suppose? I wish you well.x

  • Imawake,

    If the ultrasound scan shows the nodule is >1.5 or has suspicious characteristics it is protocol to do a fine needle aspiration biopsy to rule out malignancy. Only 5% of thyroid nodules are malignant but the risk of malignancy increases in large nodules. The FNA aspirates cells from the thyroid nodule which a pathologist analyses to determine whether the result is benign, inconclusive or malignant.

    A FNA is not painful as local anaesthetic is applied to the neck or throat prior to the needle being inserted. It is a little uncomfortable lying down with your throat thrust upwards for the procedure and there will be a little soreness once the anaesthetic wears off and some bruising for a few days. Nothing that paracetamol can't take care of.

    A thyroid nodule rarely affects thyroid blood levels or causes symptoms.

    My FNA was inconclusive but the size of the nodule was compressing my trachea so it wasn't repeated and I had a partial thyroidectomy (hemilobectomy) to remove the offending nodule and lobe. The tumour was examined afterwards and found to be malignant so I had completion thyroidectomy 3 months later.

  • I'm sorry to hear that, again I hope you are able to make a full recovery. Can I ask what your symptoms were.

  • Imawake,

    This was almost 5 years ago, I'm fine now.

    The nodule was compressing my trachea which made swallowing and breathing difficult.

    All the symptoms I was experiencing I was told were non-thyroidal because my thyroid levels were euthyroid (normal) with elevated antibodies (Hashimoto's). As symptoms resolved after thyroidectomy I'm quite certain they were due to euthyroid Hashimoto's despite my doctor's saying otherwise.

  • Clutter. I was told I had no symptoms but I have certainly lost a load of symptoms since TT !!!

    As I said a bit to go, but beginning to enjoy life a bit more than I could.

    Went through the mill, heart monitor, depression ,

    Antacids ,hair like straw burning scalp, carpal tunnel

    Joined dignitas ! Not now

    How can doctoring be so poor at this diagnosis.

  • Gcart,

    I wouldn't mind being told symptoms are non-thyroidal if anyone bothered to investigate what was causing the damn non-thyroidal symptoms but somehow telling one what-it-is-not seems to have become a diagnosis in itself.

  • Thanks for your replies. I guess I've just got to be a big girl and have the biopsy then. I will post back with the results either way.x

  • Reasons NOT to have a biopsy:

    1) If you had cancer you would refuse the treatment

    2) You are booked to have a thyroidectomy anyway

    But you'd have a hard time persuading your specialist and probably still be bullied into having it.

  • I was told told that I had no symptoms prior to thyroidectomy for cancer. I was never told what my blood test showed at that time.

    However since hormone replacements ,although it has taken time , I am better than before. Still a bit to go but getting there.

    Symptoms before extreme aching, sleeplessness,palpatations stomach pains, constipation could go on but don't have time.

    NO SYMPTOMS my foot, I wish I knew what my numbers were before.

    Keep asking but no joy from the hospital

    My thoughts are that you may find you can feel better if it needs sorting out.

    Good luck and take care.

  • Thanks for your reply. Doctors really aren't good at communication. When I went to the GP after the bloods and ultra sound results I was told that it was my thyroid on its way out. I left the GP office feeling a bit releived only to get a letter from the hospital for ENT 4 days later. Even when I attended the appointment he was vague and said he would do an FNA only if a new US scan came back suspicious but then I got a letter to arrange a FNA a few days later. I arranged this for 7th Dec but today I'm told its been brought forward to next Thursday. I feel like I'm walking on egg shells as to my face they're 'oh nothing to worry about' but then they seem to back track when I leave. Any way I wish you all well and I will let you know how I go next week.x

  • Just to update. I went for the FNA today and they done a more thorough scan than the first one and the doctor decided I didn't need the FNA after all! So I was right­čść feeling quite releived that not only did I not need the FNA but it can't be anything nasty either. I'm assuming the ENT will just keep an eye on my thyroid in future as it does look like it's on its way out but just not enough to show on bloods yet.

You may also like...