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Question
Posted by: mim | 2004/11/15

Worried

Doc pls help: I have had 2 nodules removed from around the thyroid area in 2 separate occasions over the past 10 years. I have since developed 5 more nodules (very small) but have known about these since 2002 February. I have had 2 surgeons tell me that it is not really necessary to remove these 5 and the one surgeon was the one who removed the last one. My current surgeon is treating them with elthroxin 0.05mg a day and he explained that there is no guarantee the elthroxin will shrink or stop them growing. I do not have any other problems otherwise ie. no difficulty swallowing, thyroid function always tests normal, just have an enlarged thyroid i think goitre and the surgeon said that what i have is called a multi nodular goitre. I am 31 yrs old, good weight and fairly fit female and had a baby last year with no problems. My concern is that i just read an article yesterday in Shape re a women who had her supposedly benign nodules removed only to find out after testing the nodules that they were cancerous!!!!! she had her thyroid removed. Now how can i be certain that the 2 surgeons know what they doing with me. I can t help but wonder if i should not ask for my thyroid to be removed as a safety precaution or otherwise what i need to know is cant they do a needle biopsy to test the nodules for cancer without doing surgery first????

I am so worried, cannot sleep at night due to wondering... also doc if i have my thyroid removed how will that affect my fertility because i want a 2nd child? also how will it affect my weight, is it true that once you remove the thyroid you will GAIN weight and that there s nothing you can do about that? surely if you ate sensibly and exercised you could fight the weight gain? pls put me to rest..... Lastly can i at least rest assured that because the previous two were not cancerous that this somehow means that these will not be as well and that maybe the lady in the article was having her first nodule ever removed and she was one of the unlucky ones??? possiblility?

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Our expert says:
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Mim, as a rule of thumb a solitary nodule is more likely to be cancerous than a multinodular thyroid. If you want to be more certain that the nodules are benign you can ask your surgeon to do a fine needle aspiration.
There are risks involved with having your thyroid removed (during and after the operation) and if the surgeons both feel that there is no risk of cancer, I would not go that far if I were you.
You should be able to control your weight if you take Eltroxin®, watch what you eat and exercise regularly.
Unfortunately two benign nodules don’t 100% guarantee that the others will be benign, but it’s almost a 100%. The lady in question had one nodule an no previous benign ones and this definitely is a different situation than yours. In the end nobody will be able to guarantee that you won’t get thyroid cancer, but your chances are remote. Good luck.

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