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: 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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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

When I was 45 years old, I started having numbness over my entire body, and my mouth started to droop, similar to Bell's palsy. One day, I felt entirely strange, and I thought I was having an aneurysm. I called the doctor, and he told me to come in right away. Once I was at the doctor's office, he could feel a large lump on the right side of my neck. I had never noticed it before, but it must have been there, because it was very noticeable. He sent me to a specialist, and through radioactive testing, they discovered it was a nodule on my thyroid. The doctor scheduled me for a thyroidectomy. He said they would check for cancer during the surgery, and if it was cancerous, they would take out the whole thyroid. If it wasn't cancerous, they would only remove half of the thyroid. The primary tests showed no cancer in the large nodule, but later testing showed cancer in the smaller nodules. Ten days later, I had the other half of my thyroid surgically removed. The cancer was papillary and follicular. I did not have any treatments other than surgery, as I was in the very early stages and the cancerous nodule was small. They told me my thyroid was full of nodules. Thyroid problems run in my family, with my sister having Grave's disease at the age of 15. I used to take Synthroid, but now I take Armour on a daily basis. I have less ups and downs with the Armour.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 16

I had no symptoms. My GP thought I had lupus and sent me to a Rheumatologist. After several months and as many blood draws, I was told I did not have lupus, but I had a small nodule on my thyroid. I was then sent to another doctor. An ultrasound gave the size; needle aspiration was not possible due to the location of the nodule. I was given 3 options. 1st--wait and watch; 2nd--med and hope it became smaller; 3rd--not recommended but was an option was to have the nodule removed. Since I had 2 kids in high school, and their father had died when they were six, we (all of us together) decided it did not belong there and have it removed. When I saw the surgeon to schedule, he laughed and said if I was a man the surgery would be almost an emergency since theirs were usually cancerous. When I came to in the recovery room, the nurse mentioned that I had a total thyroidectomy. I knew at that point mine was cancer.

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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I was extremely tired and irritable for weeks until I started to have bad dizzy spells that made me feel drunk even after long hours of sleep and complete bed rest for three days. I knew something was wrong, but the doctors told me it was stress. A few weeks later a lump appeared on the left side of my throat and a biopsy and blood results showed papillary thyroid cancer.

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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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