Thyroid Cyst (w/ solid components)

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Hi! I'm new to these forums and have been humming and hawing whether I should join one of these websites to discuss my situation but I've been putting these symptoms off and blaming my overactive imagination.. after coming across this website I figured it couldn't hurt. I'm mostly here to vent, but I'd love to hear some second opinions or your own personal experiences with this.

Firstly, I'm a healthy, active 22 year old female. On New Years Eve, I noticed that the front of my neck on the left side seemed "fuller" than the right side. I had never noticed this before and it honestly seemed to pop up out of nowhere. After thoroughly examining my neck, I noticed there was a palpable lump on the left (front) side at the base of my neck (above my collar bone but below the Adam's apple). Worried, I made an appointment with my doctor. Even more worried so, I went to the walk-in clinic that day to get my thyroid levels tested to prepare my family doctor and kind of do that first step myself. My grandmother and my aunt both have thyroid problems (hypothyroidism), so knowing that, I knew I should jump on this. Shocked, the results came back completely normal. I was 100% expecting to get the news that I was hypo. I should mention, I don't have any signs of hypo (that are clearly obvious). I'm tired, but I work early and have classes early as well, so I blame it on that. I don't feel "foggy" in the brain, I haven't gained significant weight in about 5 years, etc. So after my doctor told me that my thyroid levels were normal, she began asking me those exact questions. Do you feel tired? Are you more sensitive to the cold? She kept asking me all of these questions to which I answered no. Following this she decided to schedule me for an ultrasound. Now I began to worry. I didn't think this lump would lead to any of this. A few weeks pass and I finally get in for my ultrasound. After this point I start googling ultrasound images of thyroid nodules, etc (bad idea lol). I began reading up on thyroid cancer and all these different types of thyroid nodules. I kept telling myself to not jump to conclusions! A few days later, my doctor calls me in to discuss my ultrasound results. I was shaking like a leaf! She tells me that I have a cystic nodule with solid components that's 4cm by 2cm. I was a bit relieved finding that it was semi-cystic and not fully solid. She seemed unsure of where to go from here and decided on a FNA. I knew this couldn't be great, this must mean she doesn't know what it is yet.. This had me scared. I asked if there's anything that causes lumps like these? Her response was "it's usually in people with iodine deficiency and they develop a "goitre", but that's not what I see here" she said, because I don't have a goitre. This lump only affects one side. My FNA is scheduled for Feb 26th/2016. I am nervous! Can anyone let me know how theirs went? What to expect? My doctor said once the results come back, we can either discuss surgery or she'll send me to an endocrinologist. I'd like to point out a few "symptoms" I've had. Aside from the obvious lump at the base/front of my neck, I've noticed the corresponding lymph node (under the jaw) is swollen. It isn't painful, but it's obviously swollen. I sometimes have a dull ache in the corresponding collarbone/upper chest area (not sure if it's related). If I talk a ton throughout the day, my voice tends to hurt and become hoarse and this will last for a day or two and then go away. If I sleep with my head/neck in certain positions, I can feel a throbbing in my neck where the lump is that is incredibly uncomfortable (not painful, just a strange sensation). I don't know if that's because it's laying over a vein, but it's really strange lol. I wake up in the night extremely sweaty (especially behind my neck under my hair), so sweaty I have to put my hair up. I'm not necessarily "hot" at night, I just wake up with these weird sweats. I can feel the lump moving when I swallow food. It doesn't hurt, it just feels weird moving up and down when i can feel it. I don't have any problems breathing or eating. Aside from those, I have no other "symptoms". I would LOVE to hear other people's experiences. And I'm sorry for the long message ..

Andrea

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  • Posted

    Hello Andrea:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease since 1987 and I am 54.

    Nodules or cysts can come from an infection that was near your thyroid or on top of it.  Some people are cyst makers and can make cysts on their ovaries or adrenal and Thyroid glands. Viruses like Epstein-Barr and even the Flu could cause a germ to bother the thyroid gland.

    A cyst can be drained if filled with cellular fluid. Then it can heal up.  Some cysts get large and can press on the thyroid or your throat area, and it can make it hard to swallow.

    Some cysts can be excised by surgery and some believe it or not may go down on their own in time.  Some of the WBC (white blood cells) surround an infection or get clumped together and become a cyst.

    Some can be drained by a Fine Needle Aspiration except really dense tissue or cells.

    Now the good news is most are 98% not a problem, however a small amount can bother the thyroid and cause the gland to go Hypo (too low)  or Hyper (too much).

    Hyperthyroid symptoms are: sweating a lot, feeling HOT, insomnia, nervousness, jittery, weight loss, fast heart rate.  These are common ones there are more.

    Hypo is: feeling cold, weight gain, slow heart rate, dry skin, sleepy/fatigue, muscle aches and pains, bruising, no periods or late ones.

    So it should be removed as it is placing pressure on your neck and there is no extra room for it in there. I have 3 very small nodules under 1 inch, and I watch them by way of ultrasound. 

    However, cysts tend to swell and get big and from your description it is kind of big.

    See an Endocrinoligist Surgeon for an opinion they know the thyroid well.

    Keep us posted on here on how you do.

    Regards,

    Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly!

      Thank you so much for the response. As of now, I don't seem to have any symptoms of Hypo or Hyperthyroidism. My doctor had mentioned Hashimoto's to me, so I was sure she was going to diagnose me with that after the blood results but it doesn't seem that way. The lump has stayed a constant size since I noticed it in late December, I'm just surprised it suddenly came out of nowhere and I never noticed it before. Hopefully after my FNA results come in I can go to an Endo.

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    • Posted

      Hello Andrea:

      If you had Hashimoto's a blood test to determine it is called a TPOA (Thyroid protein antibodies test).

      Another type of growth people can have are called Lipoma's.  They can come out of nowhere too and are a bunch of lipid cells (fat cells) that can clump and form oval or round balls and they are freely moveable.

      Have a cholesterol level done by your GP doctor. Some theories are it can come from that.

      I have a goiter and it covers my whole thyroid are, and cysts or Lipomas are in just one area. 

      Yes, have the FNA done and then you will know more.

      Regards,

      Shelly

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  • Posted

    I don't want to alarm you but you a displaying symptoms of hodkinsons lymphomia. My neice has it and it took 8 long weeks to get diagnosed by this point she could not even walk a few steps without being in pain. By the time they found it she was at stage 3 they are doing chemo now for 6 months. And they are confident she can get rid of it. She is only 25 and I can't help but think she would have been at stage 1 or stage 2. Please don't let this happen to you. They discovered my neice had a problem after they tested her blood and it was in their words all over the place. If I could turn back the clock j would tell her to insist on being in hospital as soon as she knew something was wrong.

    I am not saying that you have this I'm just saying that gps in our experience are not good at diagnosing this condition. My neice would tell you that she would have been more persistent if you could go back in time.

    Better to be safe. And if you need to speak to me let me know. But please get tested ASAP x

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    • Posted

      Just to add and say I don't know what a FNA test is but I do know that to find hodgkinson hospital do a biopsy. It could even be a goituire or just harmless lumps.

      It's probably nothing best to check though

      Take care

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia!

      I'm so sorry to hear about your niece. I can't even imagine! Fortunately, I don't seem to be displaying (what I think) are signs of Hodgkins Lymphoma. I actually feel, overall, pretty "healthy". I don't feel sick in any way, aside from being tired, but that's not abnormal for me. May I ask what caused the pain in your niece? The only pain I really have is this dull ache in my collar bone/upper chest on the side that the swollen lymph node and neck lump are on. I know there's lymph nodes in that area, but I can't see or feel any there (not sure if they're set deeper or not). Please let me know how your niece does! And a FNA is a Fine Needle Aspirate, they stick a small needle into the lump and test for cancer/benign cells. I'm pretty nervous, needless to say.

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  • Posted

    To add, I've been feeling increasingly weak and sore today. I'll be sweeping the floor and feel completely winded after it. Or I'll lift something that's barely even heavy and I'll feel like I just lifted weights. I've started to have body aches, more-so in my back side/shoulder area. Unlikely that it's all related, just thought I'd mention it.
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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea

    sorry the hear your problems. I will try the tell you simply of my experience. 

    I noticed a lump in the right side of my neck and on checking photos it had been there a while.  My GP referred me for ultra sound on the two week rule.  The radiologist doctor said it was just a thyroid cyst and tried to aspirate with too small a needle and only got a sample rather than draining it.  I was referred to consultant who agreed it was a cyst and aspirated there and then drawing off about 30mls fluid.  Tested as cancer free.  Returned to him weeks later when cyst had filled up again.  He drained again and I returned to him again when it had swollen up again.  He suggested surgery to remove right thyroid.  He spoke about risks of both leaving and removing and to be honest scared me.  I went away and googled it, then visited GP.  He asked if I'd seen a Professor ---? I said no and so he referred me on for second opinion.  The Professor was a lovely man, top in his field, and on looking at the same ultrasound said yes I did have a cyst, but he was more concerned at the lump of 2.5 cm and other lumps on both sides.  He sent me for a further ultrasound and biopsy of 3 of the larger lumps.  The doctor tried very hard to biopsy, about six attempts but could not get needle into any of them.  Nice professor said this was not that unusual and anyway biopsy had limited use as bad cells can easily be missed.  He said it was up to me whether  I wanted to watch and wait and see what the lumps and cysts do or operate to remove half thyroid.  

    As  there is about 20% chance of thyroid lumps being cancerous and the cyst was quite uncomfortable, together with risk of lumps being left growing bigger and doing damage, I opted for surgery.  I had right thyroid removed in February 2015 and have not had any problems with losing half a thyroid.  

    Recent follow up has shown that the insignificant small lumps in left thyroid have grown and I now have a largish one.  Awaiting to see consultant again following US scan.

     I am expecting to be advised to have remaining thyroid removed.  😟

    I would then need to take medication for rest of my life to replace thyroid hormone.

    my biopsy after first op showed the lump to be benign as expected.

    hope you get sorted soon.  Try not to worry as most thyroid lumps are not cancerous.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your experience! As with my US, they checked both sides of my thyroid and my right side was completely clear (thank goodness) and my left had one singular complex cyst. I, too, had tried looking back on past photos within the past 6 months to see if I could notice anything, and it was so hard to tell! It must have been there for some time, since I don't think a 4cm lump would pop up overnight. I only feel the lump when I press on the front of my neck or tilt my head back (then it's prominent). What's more noticeable is the swelling where it's located. It's beginning to put a crease in the skin on my neck. I'm happy to hear you had a benign diagnosis! I'm sure mine is too, but it's hard to not let your brain wander. I'll be sure to post back in a couple of weeks with my biopsy report. The cyst isn't affecting my breathing or anything like that, so I'm wondering what my doctor will suggest when the results are in. Do they still call you in for a follow-up, even if the results are benign? Once again, thank you so much for sharing your experience!
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  • Posted

    Yesterday I found another swollen lymph node in my neck on the far right side. Not huge, but definitely doesn't go unnoticed. That entire side seems "swollen" aside from that singular prominent node. It is not tender nor painful, and I've never noticed a lymph node there before (even when I'm sick). Anyone have any thoughts?
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    • Posted

      Hello Andrea:

      All under your jaw and up and under your armpits and other places on the body you have lymph nodes.

      They act as a filter and trap infection.  Sometimes they swell and hurt.  Some people get that even when they get a cold.  If they become very painful or so tender to touch or show redness, call your doctor to have them checked.

      Things to look for are a fever, severe pain, any difficult in swallowing or breathing, see your Emegency Room.

      Regards,

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      So what came of your cyst? I read through this thread and I've been having similar issues, so I'm curious about your outcome.

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    • Posted

      Hi!! I completely forgot I had even posted this! So I had my FNA and the results came back as neither benign, nor malignant (inconclusive). It is suspicious for "follicular neoplasm". Basically what that means is the dr can't decipher the healthy, normal thyroid cells from (potentially) cancerous cells. Follicular thyroid carcinoma is actually next to impossible to diagnose via FNA, so my next step is surgery to get a definitive diagnosis since that's really the only way to tell whether this lump is cancerous or not. I meet with a thyroid surgeon next month to discuss the procedure and go from there.

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  • Posted

    I am curious if you had the surgery and what diagnosis did you receive? I have a similar situation and read through all the comments which were very helpful.
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    • Posted

      Hi Laura!

      I'm so glad this forum helped you! Unfortunately I'm still waiting on a surgery date, but it should be next month some time. I'm really nervous .. but I'm hopeful that it'll be nothing more than a benign lump! I hope all is well for you.

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