Patient Comments: Thyroid Cancer - Symptoms

The symptoms of thyroid cancer can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: Sally, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

My symptom of thyroid cancer was swelling in the neck. This really was of no major concern at the time, but relative tests found it to be cancer. Treatment commenced almost immediately, was hospitalized and treated with radioactive iodine. Treatment was successful and regular follow ups were clear. That was 14 years ago now, still have to have annual follow up and regular blood tests, but all is well.

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Comment from: carolleej2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I've been sick for two years and out of work for more than one year. I was addicted to exercise. I loved that "exercise endorphin release". But, eventually I stopped getting that endorphin release and exercise made me chronically tired. I began having pain and fatigue all of the time. I got dizzy when I tried to exercise. Instantly I had high blood pressure after being low all of my previous life. Eventually I had edema and excessive sweating, then no sweating at all. After two years of seeing doctors and finding out I have been diagnosed with everything from Rheumatoid Arthritis to Biliary dyskinesia, Vitamin D deficiency, gastritis, lupus, possible sarcoidosis, possible Wegener' s, anemia, generalized pain, pituitary tumor, shortness of breath and lung scarring, blood in urine, mixed connective tissue disease... I could go on and on, but I have thyroid cancer. So, the doctors tell me there is no way my thyroid cancer could possibly be causing my problems. Does anyone have any similar stories? I am hoping with all my heart and soul that once this tumor is gone so will be the edema, lethargy, rashes, pain and discouragement. If anyone can shed light on this, please share. Thank you so much (in advance).

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Comment from: Doggity, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 01

I had no symptoms with my thyroid cancer. It was an incidental finding, as it turned out. What made them pay attention to my thyroid was the Grave's disease, along with a large nodule, which they biopsied and found to be benign. Because of the Grave's, they went in surgically, and removed the whole thyroid, and that's when they found the papillary cancer right on the isthmus. Because it was only 7 mm, well encapsulated and without any lymphatic involvement, there was no need for radioactive iodine. I'm fine now and am on 175 mcg of Levoxyl. A good endocrinologist made all the difference, in my case, as well as a truly excellent surgeon.

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Comment from: WordSorter, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I had absolutely no symptoms with my thyroid cancer. I didn't even know there were problems until my internist asked me about the lump on my thyroid. I went in for the ultrasound, which didn't show anything, and the biopsy, which was inconclusive. I let it go for several more years until my new family practitioner pointed it out again, and suggested I see a surgeon about it. The surgeon examined me (and it), and suggested I get it taken out, saying that if God wanted us to have lumps on our thyroids, everyone would have lumpy thyroids. I was going to wait on it, but he sat me down with his scheduler before I could get away and assured me that the majority of the cases were benign. He said that given I had no symptoms, there was probably nothing to worry about. Well, that turned out to be false: They opened me up, discovered a folicular cancer with papillary indications (the tumor was more than 1 cm) and took out the thyroid and accompanying lymph nodes. As I like to say, I went into to surgery with a lump on my thyroid and came out of it, minus the thyroid and with the designation "cancer survivor."

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Comment from: tonidatigress, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

About nine years ago, I had been having a lot of flu-like systems and was tired all the time. I went to the doctor, but he told me my blood tests were fine. He said I was just fat and needed to lose some weight. So, I went to a different doctor, and he said the same thing. By the fifth doctor, I had difficulty swallowing. It felt as if my neck was tighter than normal. I went to another doctor whose nurse practitioner saw me. She instantly saw my neck and asked me how long I had my goiter. At last, someone saw and felt it. She ordered an ultrasound that showed a 6 cm tumor around most of the left side of my thyroid and the needle biopsy showed thyroid cancer. By the time my insurance approved the surgery, five months had passed and the tumor had grown around to attach to the back of my neck. I had a complete thyroidectomy and radioactive iodine treatments. I was put on thyroid supplements and have been doing OK. Just recently, I went in for a test on my stomach and the doctor had them scan my neck. They found a tumor in my lymph node. It's not that big, but it's there. So now we test some more.

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Thyroid Cancer - Treatments Question: What was the treatment for your thyroid cancer?
Thyroid Cancer - Share Your Surgery Experience Question: Please share your experience with surgery for thyroid cancer.

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