Thursday, February 28, 2008

What to Do about Recurrent Cancer Neck Nodes, When You have had Multiple Surgeries, or Have Contraindications to Further Radioiodine or Surgery?

The patient has papillary thyroid cancer. She had originally a total thyroidectomy, and central compartment node removal. 2/6 nodes were positive.
This was followed by radio-iodine therapy. She developed recurrence in the left lateral neck, treated by modified neck removal of 26 nodes. 12/26 were positive for cancer. She had a second course of I/131, and still had detectable cancer marker, which was followed until it began to rise 2 years later. The lymph node mapping by high frequency ultrasound found abnormal nodes in the left neck again, and new abnormal node in the central compartment. Both areas were sites of a previous surgery. They would be difficult to open again without a risk to her parathyroids or recurrent nerves. The thyroid surgeon, the patient and I decided it was safe to go after the central compartment node, if I could mark the location by injecting a small amount of methylene blue on the surface of the node, by ultrasound guidance one hour before surgery. The left neck was left to me to use Percutaneous Ethanol Injections to "kill" those few nodes, rather than risk a second surgery on the left neck.The surgery was fast and without complications. The surgeon found the node easily with my blue mark. The left neck node was "killed" by injecting small amount of ethanol directly into the cancer node. The blood flow by power Doppler was destroyed by the ethanol. The cancer marker decreased and she was followed yearly for 2 years without recurrence.

Two new tools added to treat our thyroid cancer patients

PEI for treating cancer nodes
USG Methylene Dye for localization of cancer nodes for the surgeon.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gangster with Graves' Disease

Jimmy Breslin's new book "The Good Rat" tells the story that Salvatore "The Bull" Gravano developed Graves'Disease. He became quite sick with hyperthyroid symptoms, after ratting out mob boss John Gotti. He had pulled out his hair, and left a head that was bald and pink.Folds of flesh hung around his eyes.Because Mr.Breslin feels politicians are as crooked as mobsters, he would not be surprised that the first President Bush had Graves' disease during the first Gulf War.