Freaking out!

Hi I'm wondering if anyone can offer some reassurance! Went to Endo this week after finding 4.7cm hard nodule during ultrasound scan. He felt due to the size & the fact it was hard that I should prepare myself that it could be cancerous. Having FNA on Monday and he also referred me to ENT surgeon to check my voicebox as I keep getting a hoarse voice and need to cough regularly to avoid broken speech. I'm very lucky to have private medical insurance but I can't get the "C" word out of my head. Due to the size its probably been growing for so long (I'm 48) and having looked it up on different sites if it is cancer it would be diagnosed at Stage 3 is this right? I only noticed the lump during a bout of laryngitis in October and keep wondering if I just hadn't noticed or is it growing fast. I have had the hoarseness for about 2 years but on visiting the doctors they just changed by asthma inhalers in case it was them causing the issue. Sorry for the long post just freaking out, especially at night laying awake and thinking is this my lot! Do people successfully beat this if it is cancer or can it spread to other parts of the body. My endo finally diagnosed me with Hashimotos as well having been trying to get someone to listen for over a year now. I have raised antibodies (Anti thyroglobulin antibodies) which when I read up say they are a marker used for cancer. Thanking you all for listening.

16 Replies

  • It's easy to say 'don't worry' but those who've had a similar condition to yourself will respond.

    Re hoarseness, that was my very first symptom, unfortunately none of the doctors/specialists I saw knew it was connected to hypothyroidism, therefore I had had several diagnosis for anything but hypo. No-one diagnosed me at all. Hoarseness is a clinical symptom of hypo.

    However, I believe thyroid cancer is quite successfully treated but it might not be thyroid cancer, so keep that in mind.

    I hope some of these questions/answers might be helpful for you.

  • Thank you for your support & good to know the hoarseness is a symptom. Hope you got your symptoms under control in the end

  • All my symptoms have gone for a while now but my hoarseness comes and goes as if I'm a heavy smoker but because I feel well otherwise I have to just accept it. :)

  • I had a large lump & subsequently had a thyroidectomy. I too was told there was a risk of cancer & the needle aspirations were inconclusive. Fortunately it proved not to be cancerous. I hope all goes well for you.

  • Thank you so many people say the biopsy comes back inconclusive. They said due to the size it would have to come out anyway so I'm praying I get the same result as you. How did you get on after surgery? Did it take a long time to get medication right?

  • GStclair,

    95% of thyroid nodules are benign, thyroid cancer is still relatively rare. The FNA may tell whether the nodule is benign or malignant. If the FNA is benign it is likely you will need a hemilobectomy to remove the large nodule. It's likely the nodule is compressing your trachea and that's why your voice has become hoarse. If the FNA is malignant it will depend on what type of cancer you have as to whether you require a hemilobectomy or complete thyroidectomy.

    The staging will depend on the type of cancer and whether it is encapsulated in the thyroid or has spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere.

    I had stage 2 Hurthle Cell carcinoma which was surgically removed and because of risk factors I had follow up radioactive iodine ablatement (RAI) to destroy any remnant cells remaining in the body after thyroidectomy. I'm now in my 5th year of remission.

    Thyroglobulin and thyroglobulin antibodies are used as cancer markers after thyroidectomy because without the thyroid gland there should be no thyroglobulin or antibodies.

    It was a bonus that without a thyroid gland to target Hashimoto's burned out.

  • Thanks so much for the info very reassuring & hoping I'm in the 95%. Thanks for explaining about antibodies I've read other groups where they say hashimotos stays but ends up attacking other parts of body so good to hear yours stopped. Did you have symptoms that lead to diagnosis or did you find a lump? So pleased you got through it all & have been in remission for 5 years it's good to hear the positives. How are you finding living on medication now?

  • Gstclair,

    It's Graves which can go on to attack other organs when the thyroid is removed, Hashimoto's will usually burn out when there is no more thyroid material left.

    I'd had hyper symptoms for over a year but I thought it was something else. The lump appeared on a Friday night and I saw the GP on Monday had thyroid function tests, antibody tests, ultrasound scan, ECG and referral to thyroid surgeon all within 6 weeks.

    I had a bad reaction when I was switched from Liothyronine (T3) to Levothyroxine but I'm fine now on Levothyroxine and T3 combination.

  • I had similar reading and the scan said I had a very granular thyroid and keeping it stable must be a nightmare! Had a FNA and it was fine, thankfully no more problems.

  • Hi silverfox7 did you have the thyroid removed following the FNA or are they keeping an eye on it?

  • No it all still with me! More likely a cyst as it turned out. It didn't fill up again either which I was told could happen! In hind sight it was pressing inwards so was very uncomfortable and they did get a lot of fluid out which apart from being a bit bloody was fine.

  • That was a great outcome then it's all so scary & can't help worrying that it may be cancer. Got my FNA tomorrow & so anxious about that and should get results on Friday unless it comes back inconclusive. How your life can change in a week!

  • Tell me about it! Recently had a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy in just over 30 mins!

    All you can keep telling yourself that if it isn't good news, and also remember it could well be, then it's better delt with and not put off. Hope things go well for you.

  • Yes true. Thank you and best wishes hope it all goes well for you too - keep us updated how you get on

  • My ex's second wife (with whom I get on great!) is about 20 years post thyroid CA. She was very ill by the time it was spotted and diagnosed, so is on treatment to suppress any remaining cancer cells from proliferating. She was told that she could expect a normal lifespan. The op was relatively untraumatic and she felt heaps better once it was done. A bit of fiddling with her levo dose, but honestly, if you must have cancer, this is definitely a relatively good one to get.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you Ruthi it's very reassuring to hear that & so pleased she is doing well now. I think it's the shock & complexity of this disease as you read the worst cases so thank you for sharing this with those of us going through this. I enjoy reading the daily posts but I still don't understand half of it lol! I saw a private doctor a year ago who found high antibodies via blood test & she suggested hashimotos but was told it's nothing to worry about yet & should wait & see. My own GPs just dismissed it when I mentioned it & even when seeing a professor 3 months ago about hormones when I mentioned it again he shouted there's nothing wrong with your thyroid & said goodbye and put phone down on me! I can't help wondering why they can't just scan people's thyroid just to check when confirmed as hashimotos it would help so many people as it's not noticeable until the nodules are large. Oh well rant over lol!

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