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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Endocrine Cancers

Question: Recurrent thyroid cancer ultrasound versus whole body scan?

 christie321 - Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:54 pm

I am 20 years post near total thyroidectomy/RAI ablation for papillary thyroid cancer. I just found out that my last thyroglobulin level (with TSH stimulated) was 23.0. I am now scheduled for a neck ultrasound. After doing a lot of research, I've pretty much figured out that a level that high has to be indicative of a recurrence. I am wondering why the doctor is bothering with the ultrasound. Wouldn't it be more prudent to start with a whole body scan so that way he can see all the possible places the cancer might be? Even if the neck ultrasound is negative, I still feel I should ask for the whole body scan with a Tg level that high. Do you agree this would be the correct action for me to take? Thanks in advance!
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:37 am

User avatar Hello,

I hope all is well. It has to do with the degree of accuracy and the advantages of each techniqe. Ultrasonography of the neck is more sensitive than a whole body scan at detecting neck recurrence. On the other hand, the scan would be able to detect extrathyroid recurences and distant metastases, something that ultrasonography cannot do.

Please keep us updated about your condition.

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