Monday, March 31, 2014

Can Nodule On Thyroid Discovered by a CT Scan be Associated with Myasthenia Gravis?

I was 62 years old when I began to be treated for myasthenia gravis . I'm 64 now. For various reasons I put off having the usually recommended CT of the thymus gland until a just a couple of weeks ago. My thymus was "unremarkable" - no growths and no thymoma but the CT showed a 2 cm nodule on the thyroid gland and a tiny spot on my lung. Since I have myasthenia gravis, a mystery disease, a growth on my thyroid opened up yet another possibility for detective work: could there be a connection?

So I started doing searches and I stumbled upon an article about a research project about cancers, other than thymoma, being associated with myasthenia gravis. As it turns out, the study concluded that having MG itself is a risk factor for extrathymic malignancies - regardless of the presence or absence of thymoma. The overview of that study was actually posted on back in July, ...New Study Concludes Cancer More Likely ...

The reason I think that all of this is noteworthy is that, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have put off having the CT as long as I did. Frankly, knowing about this study, not only would I have had the CT but I would also asked about more tests that might indicate other forms of cancer. I intend to do that now.

For those that may not realize it, as I didn't, a CT scan of the thymus is also a scan of all the organs in that general chest area. And the radiologist reads and reports on the entire scan. So I read about the condition of my heart, lungs, thyroid, aorta, liver, ribs and such. Pretty cool! It's like getting all kinds of super x rays for the price of one. Of course it uses up to 100 times more radiation to make that happen. See link below.

If the results of the mentioned study are confirmed; that is that there is a high likelihood of the presence of some kind of cancer in myasthenia gravis patients - then perhaps testing for cancers other than just in the thymus would be appropriate for MG patients. I don't know what those tests might be but I hope to find out soon. By the way, I don't know if I do have any cancer. Further testing and maybe a biopsy is the next step. But finding these growths, especially the one on the thyroid, made me prepare for the possibility.

Myasthenia Gravis: Disease Mechanism and Immuno intervention
Doctors Don't Tell Patients of CT Scan Risks 

1 comment:

  1. I have LEMS - Lambert Eaton Myasthenia Syndrome - which is highly correlated with lung cancer. I think you are onto something