Thyroid cancer whether

Clear margins thyroid cancer

In August 2011 I felt a small, pea-sized bump on my right collarbone. That afternoon, I went for an annual physical exam and mentioned it to my doctor. He immediately referred me to a head and neck surgeon.

That surgeon told me it was a lymph node, but not to worry or come back unless it got twice the size. A month later, it was no larger, but I called back and asked to see another head and neck surgeon for a second opinion. That doctor ordered a neck ultrasound.

Once I came back home, I remember walking in my front door to the phone ringing. It was the surgeon, and his first words to me were, "Don't panic yet." He expressed his concerns of the ultrasound, and explained that healthy lymph nodes are like pearls on a string; what they found in my neck looked like clusters of grapes.

I had fine-needle biopsies of my lymph nodes in the neck, and on Sept. 1, 2011, I got the phone call on the way home from work that it was cancer. At the time my surgeon was not sure what type of cancer it was, but suspected papillary thyroid cancer.

On Sept. 2, my dad passed away. I flew to the East Coast to attend his funeral, flew back home to California and drove straight to the hospital to get biopsies on my thyroid nodules. Days later, they came back positive for cancer, and I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer.

Sharp punch to the stomach
I had an 11-hour neck dissection surgery on Sept. 30. My entire thyroid was removed, as were 50 lymph nodes and my right exterior jugular vein. The recovery from that surgery was brutal, but not as brutal as the news I would receive days later when the pathology came back.

My endocrinologist called and said, "You do not have papillary thyroid cancer." Shocked, I asked what type I had, and the reply was "medullary thyroid cancer." It felt like a sharp punch to the stomach. I had read briefly about the four types of thyroid cancer, and all I could remember about medullary was that it was rare and "incurable."

Popular Q&A

Could i have some advise on weather it could be cancer?

ive been feeling very tired, no energy and sick for ages, got a lump under my jaw and also swelling to my neck and a lump at the bottom of my neck, my white cell count was high and another part of the blood test was high and i cant rem what one is was, really worried it could be cancer, my thyroid was clear so was my glandular fever test. the lump docs are worried about is were the thyroid bit is at the bottom of my neck on the right side, got to wait for appoitment from hospital now.

Your white blood count is high for a reason, it's fighting an infection not cancer. You see, because cancer cells are your own cells gone rogue, if you will, the immune system doesn't see them as a threat because the same cells have been with you since conception. Even though they mutated. So what you're experiencing is nothing more than an infection and needs to be dealt with accordingly.

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