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Old 08-29-2010, 06:45 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,762,551 times
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If you have hypothyroidism, does your doctor order ultrasounds or other tests, and if so, how often?

I just had another ultrasound, and received the results from my doctor, along with the directive that she wants me to have another one in six months. I do have a family history of thyroid cancer, but I've now had three ultrasounds in the past three years and they've never turned up anything.

My insurance is very good--I pay nothing for approved tests, but regardless of cost, these tests seem unnecessary to me. It's my understanding that regular bloodwork is standard for hypothyroidism, but I didn't think ultrasounds were. Anyone else get them regularly?
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,137 posts, read 30,041,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
If you have hypothyroidism, does your doctor order ultrasounds or other tests, and if so, how often?

I just had another ultrasound, and received the results from my doctor, along with the directive that she wants me to have another one in six months. I do have a family history of thyroid cancer, but I've now had three ultrasounds in the past three years and they've never turned up anything.

My insurance is very good--I pay nothing for approved tests, but regardless of cost, these tests seem unnecessary to me. It's my understanding that regular bloodwork is standard for hypothyroidism, but I didn't think ultrasounds were. Anyone else get them regularly?
I do not think the ultrasounds are being ordered because of the hypothyroidism, but to screen for cancer. Is your thyroid enlarged? Are there any nodules that your doctor can feel? Is your thyroid difficult to examine because of the anatomy of your neck?

A significant percentage of thyroid cancer is familial and several genes have been identified. In particular, people with medullary carcinoma may be offered genetic testing, and if they are positive for the gene, family members have the option of being tested. Other family members who test positive then have the option of having their thyroids removed before they actually develop cancer.

How many family members have had thyroid cancer and what relation are they to you? Do you know if any have had genetic testing?

Have you asked your doctor for the rationale for the U/S?

See here: Thyroid Cancer Tests - US News Health
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:29 PM
 
4,805 posts, read 20,762,551 times
Reputation: 4990
The doctor hasn't said anything about my neck being difficult to examine. My thyroid is not enlarged and the doctor hasn't felt anything in my throat. All of the past u /s have shown a few nodules less than 5mm in diameter, with no change in size, shape, or location over the three tests. The family history of thyroid cancer is my mother. I don't know if she had genetic testing. I haven't had any myself to compare to.

I began feeling a lump in my throat a few years ago, shortly after my initial diagnosis. Since all of my u/s though show no change or culprit in the ultrasound it seems like it isn't my thyroid that is causing the lump sensation. I've been to a gastroenterologist who found nothing and next I plan to see an ENT to see if they can figure out what is going on. I want to get to the bottom of it, because it is annoying and it affects my voice, but pointless tests aren't accomplishing anything for me. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life getting ultrasounds twice a year.

I'll reply to my doctor through the hospital online portal and ask what her reasoning is. I was just wondering if it was common for doctors to order frequent ultrasounds and it sounds like it isn't.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
25,137 posts, read 30,041,038 times
Reputation: 31244
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
The doctor hasn't said anything about my neck being difficult to examine. My thyroid is not enlarged and the doctor hasn't felt anything in my throat. All of the past u /s have shown a few nodules less than 5mm in diameter, with no change in size, shape, or location over the three tests. The family history of thyroid cancer is my mother. I don't know if she had genetic testing. I haven't had any myself to compare to.

I began feeling a lump in my throat a few years ago, shortly after my initial diagnosis. Since all of my u/s though show no change or culprit in the ultrasound it seems like it isn't my thyroid that is causing the lump sensation. I've been to a gastroenterologist who found nothing and next I plan to see an ENT to see if they can figure out what is going on. I want to get to the bottom of it, because it is annoying and it affects my voice, but pointless tests aren't accomplishing anything for me. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life getting ultrasounds twice a year.

I'll reply to my doctor through the hospital online portal and ask what her reasoning is. I was just wondering if it was common for doctors to order frequent ultrasounds and it sounds like it isn't.
It looks as if the ultrasounds are to follow the nodules noted on the initial scan. Perhaps your mother can find out from her doctor if she had medullary cancer. If her diagnosis was before gene testing became available, she may never have had a discussion about it.
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