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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrine Cancers

Question: Heredity and Thyroid Cancer

 JMcC - Sun Feb 19, 2006 8:49 am

I am 56, female, Caucasian. I share some physiological characteristics with my mother who died at the age of 56 in 1969 of cancer -- primary in the thyroid gland, secondary encephalitis and heart tumor. First manifestation was cloudy vision.
My mother had acute appendicitis at age 15, as did I. She had recurrent bursitis in her left elbow, bursa pad removed at age 23. So did I. She suffered from depression and anxiety, as do I. I enjoy the benefits of modern drugs, and take Celepram (hydrobromide) 20 mg daily. My general figure type is like my mother's -- tendency to overweight, hourglass figure.
However, I am unlike my mother in colouring (I am blonde, blue-eyed, very fair, she was dark, green-eyed) And I suffer from severe reactive hypoglycaemia (GTT tests, doctor diagnosed) and my mother had no blood sugar problems. My father was the blonde and an insulin dependent Type I diabetic.
Also unlike my mother, I had glomerular nephritis at age 21 (fully recovered), a hysterectomy at age 43 (large fibroids -- only the uterus removed) I'm not sure if I'm menopausal ... If I am, I'm having an easy time of it. My mother was very late going into menopause, but suffered badly.
I feel well. I have low blood pressure. I am reasonably fit, have a full time job, exercise regularly. eat well, take some vitamins.
My question is whether I should be checked for any problem in the thyroid gland at this point given my family history. Is there any test available that would detect cancer in its early stages?
I am not overly concerned, but I want to feel I am doing everything I can in the way of prevention.
Thank-you very much for your time and concern,
 Theresa Jones, RN - Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:14 am

User avatar Hi JMcC,
Risks for certain types of malignancies are increased when there is a familial history of such disorders. Regular physical evaluations will assist your physician in identifying any abnormalities. He/she will palpate (feel) your thyroid gland to identify any abnormalities in size, nodules, etc. Lab studies to evaluate thyroid function may also be included. Be sure your physician is aware that you have a family history of this disorder.
Theresa Jones, RN

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