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underactive thyroid and breast cancer

35 REPLIES 35
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Maria 

Hope you are well, just wanted to update you re T3. My GP has started to prescribe it for me, On instruction via my Endocrinologist. 

Astonishing. Hopefully your GP start listening to you. 

😁

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Maria
Yes it is a cop out being diagnosed with CFS, I had Adrenal fatigue a few years ago and was told it had nothing to do with my thyroid condition, total nonsense.
You can go privately and have your T3 tested via Urine or blood.
I was lucky, I moved to a another borough, and my new GP referred me to the Endocrinologist who put me on T3.
There is a very good book by Dr Barry Peatfield, what he doesn’t know about the Thyroid, it’s not worth knowing.
I was his patient for a couple of years. And he always said to me, he was astonished I made it to my 40s with no thyroid gland.
😁😁😁😁
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Monicanatura,

 

Thanks for this. Yes, I'm sure I can ask to be referred but they would want to know why and if I explained why they would probably say "we can do that" though I am confident that if I asked them first off to check my T3 they would say "no". They don't seem to understand thyroid issues at my GP practice; my GP diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue many years ago (after I complained that I'm always tired). I *don't* have chronic fatigue (I'm a psychotherapist-I know what CFS looks like). I'm tired *because* I have no thyroid gland and the thyroxine is not doing its job. I am active...I run 2 1/2 miles a couple of times a week, I work, I take care of a home. I don't have CFS. I think that diagnosis is a "cop-out" and is what GP's diagnose when they can't be bothered to look into underlying causes.

 

Enough saidSmiley Happy.

xx  

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Maria
It’s unfortunate the Drs do not test for T3, you can ask your Dr to test it, they would normally put a sticker on the blood test form with T3 written on it.
I normally insist they test my T3 and my endocrinologist does send blood test forms for T3 testing.
A lot of GPs don’t recognise T3 testing, due to the fact they assume the Levo is converting to T3, when in a lot of cases, it’s not.
Can you ask to be referred to an endocrinologist?
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Monicanatura,

 

I've heard this time and time again, how important T3 is, yet I'm never tested for it. I am no longer under an endocrinologist because once my blood tests showed as "normal"-he referred me back to my GP and now my thyroid is monitored by my GP. Tests are always in the normal range yet I've had extreme fatigue ever since my radioactive idione treatment in 2010. How does one get their T3 tested if the NHS don't do it as a matter of course? It's disgusting that thyroid patients are only tested for T4 and TSH when the T3 is as important, if not more so. 

xx 

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Ladies
I was born with Congenital hypothyroidism, I have no Thyroid gland.
I was diagnosed with BC in May 18, ER+PR+
The Dr I saw, said there are links to hypothyroidism and BC, although if you have a thyroid issue, you may not necessarily get BC.
A lot of it is down to oxidative stress, which is caused by poor mitochondrial function, due to the lack of T3 in the blood.
There are many things you can do to optimise T3 circulation.
I am on Levo and T3 from my endocrinologist, T3 is rarely prescribed, due to cost, which is crazy. Pennies to make, hundreds to buy.
Look at the thyroid diet, and what you can eat to optimise T3 conversion from T4.
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Maximum

Sorry to hear that you are joining the club that no one wants to be part. I understand what you're saying about your GP sadly it is not that straight forward.

 

When my middle sister died due to BC nearly 10 years ago my oldest sister demanded the BRAC gene test and was refused. She didn't give up and continued to fight but she was only offered yearly mammos. Last year i was diagnosed with BC and once again my sister demanded a gene test and was refused. However, they offered me one instead. The gene counsellor said they offered it to me because i have cancer and so they know what to look for in my genes.

 

it maybe the same with you they may not be sure what to look for.

 

I was formally diagnosed with an underactive thyroid in 2014, i wasn't given any meds just monitored. Now I'm just under a year post BC treatment and struggling with depression my GP has agreed to give me something because the underactive thyroid could be making it worse. 

 

 

Now you've been diagnosed make sure you get the treaemtn that's right for you XX

 

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Maximum,

 

So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. You ask a lot of good questions, and sadly, the answers will be hard to come by as it's all retrospective and we can never know. I agree with you that we must listen to our bodies and do what we can to help our GP's run the right tests. As contraversial as this is: I've learned that if your NHS doctor won't investigate something that you want investigated-go private! They will almost always investigate and run the right tests. It's awful to say it, and to have to do it, but that's the reality I'm afraid. 

xxx

 

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi. I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer, no treatment yet because HER2 results not back yet. I've had hypothyroidism for nearly 34 years. And one of my many thoughts have been, if Drs had listened to me when I said I didn't feel right, or complained about shoulder and back pains, instead of saying oh it's probably your thyroid, let's do a blood, which comes back adequate, what ever that means, to me adequate isn't good enough, to me alarm bells should be ringing and they should saying we'd like you to come back in a couple of months to recheck. Likewise with the recurring water infections I've had. My question is if the dr had listened to me and what my body was saying would I be here now with breast cancer or could they have caught it earlier and prevented it.
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I'm doing OK thanks, Trixielady.  It will be 4 years next 1st April since my op and it was a number of weeks later before I got the blood results from my GP.  I've never been a good sleeper so put tiredness down to that but could have been a sign of the underactive thyroid, I suppose.  I started on anastrozole when I had my RT in May/June 2015 and started the thyroxine after that.  I had a dexa scan in June this year after 3 years on anastrozole which showed an effect on my bones so started alendronic acid 6 weeks ago.  I've experimented a bit with the best time of day to take everything but now take the alendronic acid first thing on a Monday followed by the thyroxine 30-40 mins later and then 30 mins after that take my anastrozole with my breakfast!

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Thank you for your reply, I was concerned about my thyroid as if went wrong again about 3 month's before I was diagnosed with B/C HER2 and I wondered if there was possibly a connection and if its not working properly what effect would the chemo have!
Community Champion

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Trixie, I'm 71 and have had an under active thyroid since my 40's. My Onco has checked my thyroid for me as part of my monthly bloods, and so far I have had to have my dosage reduced over the 2 years since my first diagnosis, as I am not so active. Have to say, it's the least of my worries! X

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi hope your OK, did they have to change any off your treatment? If you already had an underactive thyroid you probably would have known, the signs can vary but your body definitely knows it's not working well xxx
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

My pre-op blood tests showed an underactive thyroid.  Could have had it for years for all I know as I hadn't a clue!

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I am really confused so how are you doing feeling today,?? What's happening with your health and are you still working??
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and have an underactive thyroid of which I've had for 30 year's, I'm worried about how this might affect my chances of recovery and my mascetamory
Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Me too, underactive thyroid,thyroxine. The more you read the more you realise that the little butterfly shaped thyroid gland affects most of our body functions.

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Thyroid problems and breast cancer are, sadly, very common. My surgeon, oncologist and endocrinologist all insist there is no link between my radioactive iodine treatment for Graves Disease and subsequent breast cancer.

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

There does seem to be a lot of ongoing research on a possible connection. However both hypothyroidism and breast cancer are fairly common conditions so there is liable to be some overlap anyway.
Signed another BC and hypothyroid one.

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I also have a underactive thyroid have had it for about 15 yrs now was dx with bc 2 yrs ago then sec to lungs in march seems there are a few of us maybe I'll ask onc when I next see him

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

i was diagnosed with underactive thyroid 6 years ago i also am wondering if there is a link with bc and thyroid problems ?

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hello girls.

Many studies have shown a link between thyroid disfunction and breast cancer, especially where the thyroid problem is a reuslt of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's.

There are conflicting results in the medical literature. It was a while ago that I read it but I seem to remember that there's a very good paper from UCLA outlining a possible link. Interestingly,both the thryroid and breast tissue uptake iodine.

Age 46
Dx Hashimoto's 1990,
Dx IBC Jan2010. ER/PR neg HER2 pos, grade 3, spread to seven nodes,

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid about 8 years ago and I am being treated with thyroxine everyday, then 5 years ago developed breast cancer, 2 ops, chemo and rads and then 18 months ago diagnosed with secondary in lung and being treated with letrozole (femara). I must admit I have often wondered about the connection with thyroid problems as my mum also had an underactive thyroid and got cervical cancer, which she died of at 51, that was 30 years ago and treatments were very limited, It has always crossed my mind though if there is a connection with thyroid disfunction or just a coincidence.

Take care all
Love Marina x

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I have had a slight goitre for many years. About 10 years ago, I noticed it had enlarged and was referred to an endocrinologist who did a radio iodine test. The diagnosis was thyroiditis. Only 10% of the thyroid was functioning normally, but that 10% was producing enough thyroid hormone so that I didn't need to take thyroxine.
I wonder if there is a link or if this is just coinicidence.
Has anyone seen anything in the science/medical journals?

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I had a mild goitre diagnosed 14 years ago. I picked up on it as I noticed I could only see one of the two bones at the front of my neck.
The strange thing is that around 15 months ago I noticed that the goitre had disappeared and I could see both bones again. Ten months later I was diagnosed with BC. Maybe a coincidence but it has been on my mind since diagnosis.

Tina
x

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Tbh I think it's just luck if that's the right word I was in my 20s when they found out I had a underactive thyroid so don't really understand if it's linked as prim bc dx 09 a long way off from dx but I cld just be diff

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I discovered that I had an under active thyroid during my radiotherapy. I had visited my GP for blood tests to check my cholesterol etc and when the results came back she said that my thyroid was very underactive, and had I not noticed any symptoms - I thought I was just exhausted from all my treatment. I asked the radiographers if this could have been caused by the radiotherapy and they told me that sometimes it can affect the thyroid gland if given to that region of the body, but could not be sure. It runs in my family, my father and sister have both got an underactive thyroid so I guess I will never know if I inherited it or if it was brought on by the chemo or radiotherapy.

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

bump

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I have an under active thyriod, have had it for over 16 years, Bc only diagnosed Feb 11, wonder if there's a link ?
Jean

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

i have had an underactive thyroid for years. I am on thyroxin. i get tested every year, and they recommend reducing the dose, but i feel better on a slightly higher dose and they are fine with that.

Of course everyone who answered this link is going to have an underactive thyroid. It would be interesting to know how many on the site do not have the condition. i might start another thread

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid a year before BC. I queried whether these were related, both with the oncologist and the thyroid clinic, and they all said no.

I think many thyroid problems appear in middle age, especially underactive thyroids and middle aged women - and of course this is also when BC starts to appear, so although the two conditions may be related, it is probably just that both conditions happen to occur in middle aged women.

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I have an underactive thyroid but have had it for about 8 years and was diagnosed with bc July 2010 but since I have been taking arimidex it as gone the other way overactive so the GP is decreasing the thyroid meds to try to get it back nearer normal am wondering if it could be the arimidex that caused it to change,
Celia.x

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

wish i hadnt read this now my daughter has a thyroid problem and told me the other week she found a lump in her breast too i have told her to get it looked at just hope its nothing as she is trying so hard to start a family

Community Champion

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Hi Polly,
interesting question, I have underactive thyroid, but wasn't diagnosed with that till after cancer (though I guess I could have had it before and not known). Also have a friend and my sister who have both bc and thyroid,looks like there may be some link but which way?!

Member

Re: underactive thyroid and breast cancer

Pollyt hi I've got a underactive thyroid but have had it for 20 yrs so unsure if linked to bc as prim was 09 tc laura

Member

underactive thyroid and breast cancer

I have recently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and wondered if anyone else has had the same problem. I am taking Arimidex. It's just researching it apparently a percentage of thyroid sufferers get breast cancer and I wondered if it was really the other way round. I know that radiotherapy to the thyroid can cause it and wondered if it was to do with the radiotherapy I received for breast cancer.