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Thyroid UK
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Thyroid cancer

Hi all, I am new to this site, I have being diagnosed with variable follicular thyroid cancer after having half my throid removed (with a 4cm lump) the surgeon now wants to remove the other half as precaution which would mean having to take a tablet for the rest of my life to replace what the thyroid gland was doing, I am wondering if I could leave it in and up my iodine levels instead (I have read articles by Dr Brownstein who thinks 12.5mg -50mg is what we should be taking as most people are very deficient and and the rda of 150ug is nowhere near enough) I have already made many changes to my lifestyle including eating organic, cutting out fluoride and taking Celtic sea salt etc, any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am booked in for my opp nxt wk,

Thanks Donna

6 Replies

If it was me I would want rid of my unhappy thyroid. I had TT 6 weeks ago due to papillary cancer and 59 lymph nodes removed. It is easier to start from scratch with levothyroxine rather than juggling your hormone levels. Its no biggie taking a pill every day.

When my thyroid was removed as awell as the 4.5cm lump that was obvious on the right side there was a tiny tumour hiding round the back of the left side. So I am well rid of it.

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Only you can make the decision about refusing further surgery and what the risks would be. There is also no guarantee that you will not need levothyroxine following your Partial thyroidectomy as many people go on to develop hypothyroidism after surgery. I had a TT for multinodular goitre and they found one small cancerous nodule plus one positive lymph node. I suspect you will need follow up for several years to ensure you are free from cancer and that they may want to artificially suppress your TSH with levothyroxine to reduce the risk of spread and growth of cancerous cells. It may be worth a second opinion and a discussion with an oncologist as well as the surgeon to get all the information to make an informed decision.


Welcome to the forum, Liam12.

If you are in the UK your pathology results will have been discussed with a multi disciplinary team of pathologists, oncologists, surgeons, endocrinologists etc. to assess your risk factors and it will be their collective advice that you should have completion thyroidectomy in case the cancer has spread to your remaining thyroid lobe.

My hemilobectomy malignancy was Hurthle Cell Carcinoma which is an aggressive follicular type. The type, size of malignant tumour and my age were high risk factors and I was advised to have completion thyroidectomy which took place 3 months later. The lobe was benign but there was still the risk that cells from the malignant tumour were in my body post surgery so 3 months after thyroidectomy I had radio active iodine ablatement to mop up any cancerous cells loosened by the original surgery.

If you have remnant thyroid cancer cells anywhere in the body they can metastasize in other organs and bones.

While you retain half your thyroid be aware that too much iodine can cause autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's). If you have completion thyroidectomy you will need Levothyroxine replacement. You should get the iodine you require from Levothyroxine and diet.


I have had a little over half my thyroid removed and I have to take levothyroxine. However, only you can decide together with your thyroid consultant/oncologist or surgeon what is best for you. Perhaps you need to ask questions about what the percentage likelikhood of recurrance is without further surgery?

Most people who have had thyroid cancer have to take levothyroxine to suppress the thyroid because it prevents thyroid cells from growing and trying to increase the amount of thyroxine the gland releases. The reason for keeping cells from growing is because if there are cancerous cells left after surgery it will prevent them from developing.

It's never ideal to lose your thyroid but it is possible to live well without one although some people have to work at maintaining their health. It sounds like that's your plan anyway.

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If I were you I would have it removed immediately. Here in France they always take the whole thyroid away. I had mine removed in 2015 and with trail and error am much better.

The help that people give on this site has restored my faith in human nature.


Thank you all for answering my question, I really appreciate your time and it has definitely helped. My main concern really was having to take a tablet daily and not really knowing exactly what is in it because I am trying to eat and live as natural as possible, but I guess if everything else I do is good then I should be fine, I,m booked in for the opp this Friday :)


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