I've been diagnosed with cancer but, so far, no one knows which type of cancer.
Eighteen months ago I had follicular thyroid cancer diagnosed. At the same time, a 15mm lesion was found in my right lung. I had a total thyroidectomy followed by I-131, which has successfully treated the cancer in my throat. On the other hand, the lesion didn’t react to the I-131, leading us to suspect it was either benign or a primary neoplasm.
Two subsequent CT scans revealed no change in the size of the lesion. Then a third scan, a few weeks ago, revealed a sudden doubling in size, to 3.3cm, plus enlarged lymph glands.
Histology of a biopsied clot last week has confirmed that the lesion is cancerous. But the radiologist stopped short of describing it as lung cancer. He said it could be either thyroid cancer or lung cancer and that clinical evaluation would be required, to figure it out.
It will be some time before I get to see a senior cancer clinician for a consultation. And it will be some time after that before we start unravelling the puzzle.
What I’d like to know is, how is a cancer type determined? My interest is fuelled by the fact that thyroid cancer is easily treatable whereas lung cancer mostly kills.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.