Video Q&A about Thyroid Nodules and Cancer

Wed, May 3, 2017
1:00pm to 2:00pm ET


Dr. Mabel Ryder, endocrinologist, and Dr. Travis McKenzie, endocrine surgeon, talk about thyroid nodules and cancer.

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Dr. Ryder and Dr. McKenzie answered questions during the live event.




I have a significant family history of cancer, including thyroid (also brain, breast, colon, lymphoma). I also am a cancer survivor, following Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 19, with chemo and radiation treatment. Now at age 37, I recently had a thyroidectomy for papillary micro-carcinoma. The affected nodule was less than a centimeter in size. My surgeon has suggested that it therefor doesn’t require any follow-up (they didn’t remove or test any of my lymphnodes, and I haven’t had any scans). I am still concerned that there may be spread to my lymphnodes (or elsewhere). I am wondering if I should seek a second opinion??

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Seeking a second opinion may help to give you peace of mind, @dawjed, especially given your personal and family history of cancer. Should you wish to get a second opinion from Mayo Clinic experts, please contact one of our 3 campuses here:


I had a biopsy for a 1 cm nodule. Came back negative. Surgeon does not recommend taking out. My mother has had thyroid cancer twice. Once in early twenties with half removed. Couple of years ago had nodule on remaining with negative biopsy. They removed rest anyway and cancerous tissue found. With that history should I get a second opinion? The surgeon was aware of my mother’s history. He said that the sample was quite large so he feels safe not to do anything.

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@dleong, Getting a second opinion might be a good idea in your situation. Being able to review all your test results and your family history, give the physician conducting the second opinion the advantage of looking at all the data relevant to your particular situation. Should you wish to get a second opinion from Mayo Clinic experts, please contact one of our 3 campuses here:


My niece, 22, lives in Afghanistan where there is no proper health care services available. She is suffering from a condition very similar to severe tetany attacks for the last 4 months. At the beginning she was having these attacks once a week or once in two weeks but she is having these attacks now several times per day. Her Ca level was shown to be normal. When she gets the attack her hands and feet flexes and she cannot breath for about 20 mins. She feels extremely tired and weak after the attack to the extent that she cannot talk for a few hours. She doesn’t lose consciousness during the attack nor she has any other symptoms of epileptic attack. She is not suffering from any psychological problems. She is having bone pain in her neck, hands and feet for a week after the attack. She also says that she feels her tongue to be so heavy and sometimes cannot talk continuously for a few mins because she feels her tongue to be tired. She doesn’t have any other health issues apart this and she has not been on any long term medications.She has suffered from febrile convulsion as a child. I know this session is for thyroid but if the Endocrinologists can enlighten this issue for me as to what tests to do for her to reach a diagnosis I would really appreciate!
Many thanks
Dr. Alkozai

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Hi @alkozai, As you recognized, the webinar is specifically focused on thyroid nodules and cancer. Should you wish to consult with endocrinologists at Mayo Clinic about your niece’s case, please contact us:


I had a palipary thyroid carcenoma 4 years ago i did full thyroidactomy and took RAI i did per scans for 2 years following and now im doing ultrasound and thyroglobulin tests every 6 months is this enough? Im always afraid it comes back help plz

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Fear of recurrence is a common “side effect” of cancer, even when it has been successfully treated. It sounds like you are being followed closely with having scans every 6 months. Eventually I assume this will be extended to longer periods between scans. Have you talked to your care team about your fear of recurrence?

@synm asks about RAI. Can you share with us your experience with radioiodine ablation?

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