A 40-year-old mainland woman surnamed Zhang recently underwent radical surgery for thyroid cancer at Ningbo Women and Children’s Hospital. (Picture/reproduced from Weibo)
A 40-year-old mainland woman surnamed Zhang recently underwent radical surgery for thyroid cancer at Ningbo Women and Children’s Hospital. What makes the surgeon, deputy chief physician Tang Ming, sad is that this is already the fourth thyroid cancer patient in their family.
According to reports from mainland China media, Ms. Zhang is a vocal music teacher. She felt a little sore in her throat during class some time ago. Her voice was not as loud as before and was a bit hoarse. In recent years, thyroid nodules have been detected in her physical examinations, but they are still relatively small. Now that symptoms appear, Ms. Zhang suddenly feels a bad omen in her heart, because before her, three people in her family have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Six years ago, Ms. Zhang’s second sister was 39 years old at the time. A physical examination at her work unit revealed a unilateral thyroid nodule, and the B-ultrasound indicated that it was suspicious for malignancy. After puncture and other related examinations, he was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, and then underwent unilateral thyroidectomy. She has been following up with Tang Ming for 6 years after the operation, and her condition is stable.
In June 2022, Sister Zhang’s 16-year-old son was found to have multiple thyroid nodules during a routine physical examination at school. The doctor recommended further re-examination. With Ms. Zhang’s previous surgery experience in mind, her family took the boy to a doctor, who was eventually diagnosed with thyroid cancer. What was even more worrying was that the cancer cells had metastasized. Ultimately, the patient had to undergo a total bilateral thyroidectomy with lymph node dissection, which meant he would need to take medication for the rest of his life.
Tang Ming explained that the early symptoms of thyroid cancer in teenagers are not obvious. There is a lump in the neck but no discomfort. In addition, physical examinations in children are not as frequent as adults, so it is easily ignored and often metastasizes as soon as it is detected. At the beginning of this year, Sister Zhang discovered that her thyroid nodule felt larger than before. Remembering the doctor’s warning, she anxiously went to the Municipal Women’s and Children’s Hospital for an examination. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer and subsequently underwent removal surgery.
This time, Ms. Zhang did not dare to delay and went to the doctor accompanied by her family. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed again. Considering that Ms. Zhang is engaged in vocal music and has high requirements for voice protection, the doctor performed the operation under a magnifying glass. While removing the thyroid gland, it was easy to preserve and protect the functions of the recurrent laryngeal and superior laryngeal nerves, which greatly reduced the complications after thyroid cancer resection.