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Thyroid removed due to papillary cancer. Routine ultra sound showed an enlarged lymph node in neck. Thyrogloblin test negative. Taking allergy and asthma medication. Could this be a cancer relapse?

My sister had her thyroid removed due to papillary cancer a few years ago and her thyrogloblin bloodwork has been negative, which is a good thing. She had a routine ultrasound for her yearly physical which came back with a questionable lymph node (enlarged) on the left side of her neck that her gp suspects she may have had for a while. She is scheduled for an MRI this week. Could this be a return of the thyroid cancer , even though her thyrogloblin has been negative? She has had horrendous allergies this spring and is on allergy and asthma medications, could it be allergy related? Could it be lymphoma? She has no other symptoms of lymphoma. I m sure there s cause for concern but could this be nothing as well?
Asked On : Sun, 13 May 2012
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Oncologist, Surgical 's  Response

It is nice to hear that your sister had a complete uneventful surgery for her thyroid ca. I would like to know her post operative thyroid uptake scan which will tell us about any residual thyroid tissue and also about any non palpable positive lymph nodes. Any lymph node after a cancer must be taken as due to the cancer unless proved other wise. Thyroglobulin can be normal in some patients even with lymph node recurrence. It need not be lymphoma. A simple FNAC and a thyroid uptake scan will rule out metastasis and even if it is positive it is treatable and curable. So u can proceed ahead. All the best.

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim
surgical oncologist
Answered: Thu, 24 May 2012
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