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Dp has a lump (nodule) on thyroid, I'm so worried it could be malignant

(179 Posts)
Twosugarsplease Fri 11-Jan-13 10:12:16

Dp has seen GP said it could be a nodule, ultra sound confirmed this on Monday.
Went back to hospital yesterday, expecting the biopsy to be done, and hoping for a bit of relief from worry, I was sat in waiting room with our little ds, then my dp comes out and said consultant basically asked him to have ultra sound and biopsy and date will follow, dp has had an ultra sound already,so yesterday was so frustrating, only thing positive was he asked if bloods had been done, which they have, and consultant said 'good' when my dp said they were fine.

Nodule is 33 millimetres in size, with a smaller one at the bottom, I'm so terrified that it could be malignant sad

Dp is fine, not really stressing at all, and telling me not to, we've googled, and he has read there is a 5 % chance nodules can be malignant.
I have constantly got this knot in my stomach and can barely think of anything else, I'm just so worried.

Is anyone a GP or in the know of thyroid nodules ? Thankyou.

PenisColada Tue 12-Feb-13 22:32:48

I am very tired now will be back tomorrow.
I am waiting for radioactive iodine treatment in a few weeks. Where abouts are you ?

Twosugarsplease Tue 12-Feb-13 23:04:10

Thankyou peniscolada will put kettle on tomorrow smile night all x

Twosugarsplease Wed 13-Feb-13 10:10:57

peniscolada did they say what your lump was ?

PenisColada Wed 13-Feb-13 10:40:06

Hi, had a bad night with both children poorly so not feeling too bright this morning.

I was told my biopsy came back as a 4 which means highly suspicious. I was offered another biopsy or surgery to remove half the thyroid and have it analysed during surgery. If it was malignant the whole thyroid would be removed. There was a 20% chance the analysis would not be conclusive in time for the surgery so a 2 nd op may be required to remove the whole thyroid if it was malignant.
I refused a 2nd biopsy as the consultant said that found come back as a 4 again and I did not want to delay the whole process.
Mine came back as a papillary cancer during the surgery so my whole thyroid and central lymph nodes were removed. Think the lump was 1.8cm and contained with good margins. Some of the nodes looked suspect but that has not been confirmed yert. The treatment is the same if nodes involved or not.
After the surgery things like coughing and swallowing are difficult and you have a reduced range of movement in your neck. I had a single suture with knots at either end with a clear plastic dressing on. It looks pretty gruesome but the wound needs to be seen to be monitored.
The stitch was taken out on day 3 and the dressing after 2 weeks. Now I have minimal pain but still a feeling of something in my throat. The only complication I have is that I can't shout or sing high notes and am seeing the ENT consultant shortly about that.
I am sure they have been through all the risks with your dh. We're you at the appointment with him ? Did they tell you of it was papillary cancer they were suspicious of ? If so it is entirely curable with radioactive iodine treatment even if there is spread. Sometimes some radiotherapy is required.

If you have any other questions fire away.

Twosugarsplease Wed 13-Feb-13 11:21:36

Thankyou for that penis I am going to collect ds from nursery and will be back soon smile

Twosugarsplease Wed 13-Feb-13 12:30:12

Hi penis
No I didn't go in room with dh as I thought best to entertain little one in the play area, wish I had now.
Consultant did point out voice might be a lot quieter after the op, to take 2 weeks off work, as has to chat all the time.
Dh didn't mention papillary cancer no, what does that mean ?
Ultra sound said lump is 33 mm in size, and hadn't spread, I felt very relieved for dh at that point, that even if it is malignant it could simply be removed, I'm just feeling worried again.
So if it is malignant, we could expect him to have his whole thyroid removed ?
You said you were waiting for radio active iodine treatment..what does that involve? Sorry for the questions, you have been really kind and helpful to offer.
Hope your little ones get better soon too smile

PenisColada Wed 13-Feb-13 12:51:53

The whole thyroid would be removed as the cancer is likely to be multi nodular and multi focal.

Papillary is one type of thyroid cancer and I was told that my stage 4 was indicating it is likely to be this type.

The radioactive iodine treatment is fairly trauma free but involves a few days in isolation in hospital then staying away from children / partner for a few days.
Did your dh not get any information sheets ? I was given one on the op and one on the iodine treatment which explain it all really well. I also have a spicialist nurse to contact with any questions.

digerd Wed 13-Feb-13 18:36:23

Twosugars
It is so frustrating for you and worrying, that they still do not know for sure, which type of suspicious THyroid cancer it is, but as it is not definitely malignant they cannot tell from the biopsy.
Penis had this too and they wanted to take part of the Thyroid away first but she insisted on having it all removed to be on the safe side and to save 2 ops.
I think that was a sensible choice, as the Thyroid is not an essential vital organ and Thyroxine tablets replace its Hormone.
The Radioactive iodine afterwards is to make sure any Thyroid cells remaining will be destroyed.
Penis had the most common form of Thyroid cancer which is slow growing and had not reached the spreading stage.
Other types of Thyroid cancer can spread quicker, so it is essential they find out which type it is suspicious of becoming.
Just wish the op was to be sooner than a month.

Your DH, wish we women could be so cool and not worry like we do!!

PenisColada Wed 13-Feb-13 20:33:28

I am only speaking from my experience your dh may have a completely different outcome.

I would go in with him tough as 2 people are more likely to remember all that was discussed. I wrote down questione to ask too so I did not forget during the appointments.

kissmelittleass Thu 14-Feb-13 08:27:08

Twosugars and Digard Thanks for your input its much appreciated, I just can't help but worry! and twosugars I wish your dh all the best, you are a tower of strength to him x

Twosugarsplease Thu 14-Feb-13 13:30:07

Hi kiss and thankyou.
I have a 3 and 1/2 year old ds, and I can totally understand you worrying, it seems your little one is in good hands, but if you feel that you are worried, could you ask him to do some tests perhaps? To ease your mind.

Twosugarsplease Thu 21-Feb-13 18:24:42

Just updating : dh has his operation on 18th march to remove his right lobe if thyroid.
Once tested if show malignant, the rest if his thyroid will be taken out, and radioactive treatment given ? ( is dig here...would that be right ? )
Just hope if it's nasty it can be out and zapped around rest of the area.
But for now, more waiting ......

Twosugarsplease Thu 21-Feb-13 18:27:00

peniscolada how are you ?

digerd Thu 21-Feb-13 19:21:37

Twosugars
Good to hear you now have a date for the op. Did they mean the lump would be tested immediately
and if malignant they would immediately take out the whole Thyroid in the same op?
Or would that be 2 separate ops at different times?
The radioactive iodine I never had, but googled it and it is used to kill off any cancer cells which may have remained.
Penis is going through that now. I also wonder how she is doing.
Is your DH still just as laid back about it all. ?

Twosugarsplease Thu 21-Feb-13 20:15:02

Hi dig thanks for posting, I'm not sure if what they remove will be tested then, the info sheets we do have say the consultant will inform dh during his stay in hospital, I do hope so, and yes it would make more sense to test during surgery, can they get results that quickly ?
penis said she had whole thyroid removed as 2nd biopsy for other lobe, consultant said could have also came back a 4 (highly suspicious) so to get done in one go.
My dh wasn't given that choice.
Yes dh is still going with the flow, as I am I suppose, as he seems ok.
I'm just worried now that as he knows how worried I've been he doesn't want to tell me if he is. How are you ?

PenisColada Thu 21-Feb-13 20:38:05

Yes my nodule was tested during the surgery. I was told the testing is 80% of the time quick enough to do during the op. I went for this option as I did not want a second op to remove the other half if I could avoid it.
When I spoke to my GP she said if your nodule is a 4 it would be as well to have the whole thyroid removed as it is likely to happen again anyway if only half is removed. Apparently with half a thyroid you are likely to need thyroxine so you may as well have all of it out !

Do you know how big the nodule is ?

I am doing ok . Feel recovered mostly from the op. Have the radioactive iodine on 19th March. I would not feel up to work yet though so am signed off until the treatment is over. Before the treatment I need to stop taking thyroid meds so may feel rubbish for a couple of weeks.

How does your dh feel about it ?

digerd Thu 21-Feb-13 21:06:14

So it didn't say how long he would be in hospital after the first op?
I had the whole of my Thyroid reduced in size, so had the one op with an incision above the collar bone about 2/3" from each side of neck, but mine had swollen to mega size. In those days the skin was stapled together metal staples - there were a few of us having it done- and we joked that we looked like Frankenstein's monster, as we couldn't move our heads much either. Don't think they do that now. One older woman had cancer, but the other younger ones had an overactive Thyroid gland like me.

Twosugarsplease Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:38

Hi penis dh' nodule is 33 mm with a tiny 2nd one growing underneath but attached.
He seems fine, just not looking forward to staying in hospital, he just has a 'get on with it attitude'
I feel lucky to be able to be here for him when he gets home, in what way did you find best to recover ? I don't want to be a pain grin
dig they said 1 night as long as wound is draining well.

PenisColada Thu 21-Feb-13 21:22:53

I was in for 4 days but that was due to my calcium levels dropping. I would have gone home after 2.
No staples ! I had one of those stitches with the knots at either end and it came out on day 3. Had a clear sticky dressing over the wound that came off after 2,weeks. The scar will look like a neck crease when the redness has gone. Not bad at all.

PenisColada Thu 21-Feb-13 21:25:51

I found moving painful for a few days but it does go pretty quickly.
I had lymph nodes removed as well and felt all bruised inside so coughing, swallowing etc were difficult.
Get him some nice soft food and plenty of paracetamol.
I still find looking round when driving difficult so am only driving a ,title bit. Yawning is not a good experience !

digerd Thu 21-Feb-13 21:46:48

I had a reaction to the metal staples and sterile puss collected and burst my scar right in the middle of my neck ,2 weeks after being home. Had to go back to hospital several times to be treated which included slitting the scar open with a scalpal both ends with no local.
Was 39 years ago, though.

PenisColada Thu 21-Feb-13 21:48:36

Omg that sounds horrific. Do you have a scar ?

The stitch is far far less traumatic.

Twosugarsplease Thu 21-Feb-13 22:01:04

Omg dig
I will stick up on painkillers, incase he doesn't come home with any.
We have 4 children, and I don't drive , although dh is a driving instructor !
I am going to miss him so much, my sil has offered to ferry me around for hospital visits once youngest dsaged 3 is in bed, eldest ds who is 17 is very capable if minding him once he is asleep for an hour.
Hopefully it won't come to that as day of surgery I expect dh will be asleep or happy to recover peacefully.
We have set up an app so we can chat to each other.

digerd Thu 21-Feb-13 22:04:29

It was a very faint line and healed fine in the circumstances. The slitting I did not feel, but was in agony when they stuffed bandage in through the one cut with plastic tweezers that had ridges on the outside that scraped my raw open wound . Every time when I got home I slept for 2 hours from shock!!
Was a long time ago but remember it well. I was going to work every day too , and had to be at the hospital for 2pm alternate days. The agonizing treatment lasted for 20 minutes.
I don't know how I survived, but i did.

PenisColada Thu 21-Feb-13 22:04:32

My dc found the clear dressing quite distressing as it was a bit bloody and gruesome so you may want to get him a silky scarf to cover it up. My wooly scarfs are too scratchy.
Once the dressing is off it looks fine and the dc are not bothered at all.m

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